Sequim hires design firm for City Hall, Police Department

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — The City Council has voted unanimously to approve a $180,000 contract with Optimum Building Consultants of Bellevue to manage the design and construction of a new City Hall and Police Department.

City Manager Steve Burkett said Monday night that the goal is for construction of a 30,000- to 36,000-square-foot building to begin in the spring of 2014 and finish midyear 2015.

The new building will consolidate the city’s departments into one central location.

Currently, administration is in City Hall downtown at 152 W. Cedar St., while the legal department and police headquarters are located in the Sequim Village Shopping Center, 609 W. Washington St.

Optimum Building Consultants recently oversaw construction of a new city hall in Olympia. The firm was picked from five consultants who vied for the Sequim City Hall job.

Optimum, Burkett said, now will help create a “down to the doorknob” design of the building so the city can begin seeking architects.

The city will look for one firm to design and build the new City Hall, planned for land the city already has acquired at the corner of Sequim Avenue and Cedar Street, east of where the current City Hall is situated.

Burkett said the city should have a deal with the winning firm finished by October.

In other action Monday night, Councilmen Ted Miller and Erik Erichsen voted to deny the city’s $5,000 contribution to the Clallam County Economic Development Council.

The City Council voted 5-2 to give the pledged funding to the agency.

EDC skepticism

Miller said he was “skeptical” of the agency’s value when he took office in 2009, “and to be honest, over the next three years, I became less convinced.”

He said the EDC did not promote tourism in the Sequim area and that it did not recognize the city’s efforts to zone for “green” industry.

“It’s really more of a Port Angeles EDC,” Miller said.

Funding for the EDC was included in the city’s 2013 budget. Burkett noted that the EDC likely is relying on Sequim’s $5,000 for its 2013 spending plan.

Mayor Ken Hays said he shared Miller’s concern but added, “I think it’s important we have a seat at the table.”

Hays, who voted in favor of the funding, sits on the EDC board of directors and pledged to be more vocal in pushing it to support job-creating projects in Sequim.

“They’ll hear more from us this year,” Hays said. “I guarantee it.”

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: February 26. 2013 6:02PM
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