Winter Park moving forward with multi-million dollar public works facility
Between equipment being stored outside and ice-damaged walls, Winter Park’s public works facility is in need of an upgrade, which is why this week the Town Council approved a partnership with a bond counsel to finance the construction of a new building.
The town identified a new public works facility as a top spending priority in its 2019 budget last year and since earlier this year has been working with Saunders Construction of Englewood to finalize plans.
“The existing building has reached end-of-life and it’s not meeting the needs of the department,” said Keith Riesberg, Winter Park town manager. “We’re having to make repairs to it continuously.”
According to the town’s request for proposals on the facility, the construction budget is approximately $7.75 million, but that cost doesn’t include design fees.
A new facility would likely consist of a main building for administration and maintenance areas and bays totaling around 21,000 square feet and a separate storage shed, according to construction documents.
The multi-million dollar project will be financed mostly using certificates of participation, which is a type of lease-financing agreement. On Tuesday, the council appointed Denver-based Butler Snow to issue up to $11.5 million in certificates on behalf of the town.
The town has worked with Butler Snow before and financed both the Vasquez Street parking garage and Hideaway Place using certificates of participation.
“(Butler Snow) are the attorneys that help draft and review the lease agreements,” Riesberg said. “They’re one of the two main firms specialized in bond issuance and counsel.”
Currently, the town is planning to raze the existing public works facility, located in between the town and Winter Park Resort on Highway 40, and construct the new facility in the same location
The town is still working with Saunders Construction on the design details and finalizing the size, but expects to begin demolition this fall and construction in the spring of 2020.
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Editor’s note: The following letter to the community was submitted to the Sky-Hi News by Winter Park Mayor Nick Kutrumbos.