Isabella Vanderheiden / Tuesday, Nov. 21 @ 2:08 p.m. / Agendizer
Eureka City Council to Consider $1.4 Million Land Acquisition for the City’s New Operations Complex During Tonight’s Special Meeting
The Eureka City Council will convene for a special meeting this Tuesday evening to discuss the purchase of a 5.61-acre property, currently owned by the Ocean View Cemetery, that would serve as the city’s new corporation yard.
For several years, the City of Eureka has been looking to relocate its corp yard – the site where it stores and repairs fleet vehicles and other equipment – from its current location at 945 W. 14th Street, near Costco. The existing 3.9-acre site sits in the Coastal Zone and is at risk of flooding from storms and/or sea-level rise. On top of that, the existing buildings and facilities at the corp yard are “aging and substandard,” according to the staff report.
The undeveloped slice of property, located just off Hwy. 101 near Lost Coast Brewery’s brewing facility, would cost the city just over $1.4 million, roughly $250,000 per acre. The funding allocation would come from the city’s General Fund.
“If City Council approves the acquisition, the City’s existing corp yard would be relocated to the new facility, which would also include administrative offices and serve as the City’s emergency operations center during critical incidents, emergencies, and natural disasters,” the staff report states.
The new operations complex would span approximately 210,000 square feet, or 4.8 acres, and would include an operations building, warehouse and fleet maintenance shop. Approximately 66 full-time and seasonal Public Works staff who work at the existing corp yard and City Hall would be stationed at the new facility.
The Eureka Planning Commission signed off on the land acquisition and the associated documents late last month, with added recommendations that the city pave Weiler Road, a secondary access road to the project site, and work closely with the Bear River Band of the Rhonerville Rancheria when finalizing plans to integrate native plant species, such as hazel and bear grass.
The city council will also receive a report on the conceptual design of the new facility and direct staff to explore potential funding sources, financing options and proposed budget allocations.
The Eureka City Council’s special meeting will take place at 4:30 p.m. tonight at Eureka City Hall — 531 K Street. Remote viewing instructions can be found at this link.
During its regular meeting at 6 p.m., the council will consider an appeal to a recent Historic Preservation Commission decision regarding improvements to the Metropole Building, located at the corner of Second and D Streets.
A couple of months back, Dave Gaddis, on behalf of the property owner, Evo Fanucchi, submitted a request to the Historic Preservation Commission to replace all siding, window sills/trim and window sashes along the south-facing façade of the building.
The commission continued the item twice to give the applicant time to source materials that would meet the city’s requirements for historic structures. The commission eventually approved the proposed siding and window sill/trim modifications but did not approve of the proposed vinyl window sashes, adding a condition “to require the existing wooden window sashes be restored rather than replaced.”
“Based on the quotes obtained by the applicant, redwood window sashes would cost between $19,000 to $35,000 for materials only,” the report continues. “In contrast, the Milgard brand vinyl windows cost $4,730. … The applicant stressed the cost of installation had not been included in any of the quotes, which, in their opinion, would more than likely double the cost of the project … .”
Staff suggests that the council sustain the commission’s approval of the project, but remove the requirement that the existing need to be repaired rather than replaced with vinyl sashes. Instead, staff suggests that “any wooden window sashes removed from the south-facing façade which are able to be repaired be stored, repaired over time, and retained for future window replacement on the other building façades.” By doing so, the project would meet the standards for rehabilitation while also maintaining the “essential form and integrity of the historic property.”
The agenda for the Eureka City Council’s regular meeting can be found here.
Eureka City Council
Nov. 21, 2023, 4:30 p.m.
A. PUBLIC HEARING
The Eureka City Council is considering acquiring land from the Ocean View Cemetery to build a new Eureka Operations Complex. The current corp yard is old and at risk of flooding, so the city wants to relocate and build a new facility. The proposed site is undeveloped and does not include wetlands or riparian habitat. The city would also acquire utility and access easements. The Planning Commission has reviewed the project and made some recommendations. The city has conducted environmental studies and determined that the project will not have significant environmental impacts. The proposed purchase price for the land is $1,402,500. The City Council will need to adopt a resolution and authorize the necessary funds for the acquisition.
Once upon a time, in the city of Eureka, there was a Public Works Operations Complex that was in need of a new home. The existing corp yard, where fleet vehicles and equipment were stored, was old and needed to be relocated to ensure the safety and efficiency of the city's operations during emergencies and natural disasters.
The city began the search for a new location that met specific criteria – it needed to be at least five acres in size, easily accessible, outside of hazardous areas, and suitable for a public facility. After an extensive search, the city reached out to Ocean View Cemetery and discovered that they were willing to sell approximately 5.61 acres of land for the development of the new Operations Complex.
The proposed acquisition site was undeveloped and had never been used for cemetery purposes. It was located near a commercial corridor, with motels, a gas station, and other businesses nearby. The site was also outside of identified hazard areas and had the necessary land use designation and zoning to accommodate the new facility.
Before approving the acquisition, the city conducted various studies to evaluate the site, including a biological resource assessment, a cultural resources investigation, and a geotechnical report. An Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) was prepared to assess any potential environmental impacts and to propose mitigation measures.
The city also sought input from the Planning Commission and the public. The Planning Commission reviewed the draft IS/MND and adopted a resolution supporting the project, with recommendations for paving Weiler Road to the site and integrating native plants into the landscaping. Members of the public raised concerns about noise, traffic, and the location of the project, but the city addressed these concerns through the mitigation measures.
In accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the city conducted a public comment period, during which written comments were received from Caltrans and nearby property owners. The city also consulted with the Bear River Band, who expressed interest in incorporating significant native plants into the project.
After considering all the comments and conducting further discussions with relevant agencies, the city determined that the proposed project would have no substantial adverse environmental impact and could proceed with mitigation measures in place.
With all the necessary approvals in place, the city council made a motion to adopt a resolution authorizing the acquisition of the 5.61 acres of land from Ocean View Cemetery for the development of the Eureka Operations Complex. The negotiated purchase price was $1,402,500, and the necessary funds were to be appropriated from the General Fund.
And so, the city of Eureka began the process of relocating and redeveloping the Public Works Operations Complex at its new home. The new facility would not only serve as a storage space for fleet vehicles and equipment but also house administrative offices and serve as the city's emergency operations center during critical incidents, emergencies, and natural disasters.
The city council's decision to acquire the land and develop the new Operations Complex was a significant step towards protecting property, critical facilities, and human life from hazards, as outlined in the city's goals and the 2040 General Plan. The new facility would ensure the city's ability to effectively respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of natural or technological disasters and emergencies.
As the construction began, the people of Eureka eagerly awaited the completion of the new Operations Complex. They knew that with this state-of-the-art facility, their city would be better prepared to face any challenges that may come their way. And so, they looked forward to a safer and more secure future for their beloved Eureka.
B. REPORTS AND ACTION ITEMS
The Eureka City Council is discussing a project called the Eureka Operations Complex. They are receiving a report on the design phase and will explore funding options and budget allocations. They will also authorize a procurement method for the project. The project involves relocating a corporation yard to a new location and constructing various buildings. The City is considering using a Construction Manager at Risk method for the project, which involves evaluating contractors based on experience and qualifications and engaging in a design development process. This method can lead to better design quality, reduced delivery time, and lower project cost. The City will explore funding sources and financing options and will present a proposed funding package to the City Council for approval. The next steps include exploring funding options and finalizing the design and construction contracts.
Sermon Title: Building a Strong Foundation: The Eureka Operations Complex
Good morning, beloved congregation,
Today, I want to talk to you about the importance of planning and building a strong foundation. As Christians, we believe in the power of a solid foundation to withstand the storms of life. We also recognize the significance of establishing strong foundations in our cities and communities. Today, I want to share with you an important project that the Eureka City Council is undertaking: the development of the Eureka Operations Complex. This complex will serve as a hub for public works and development services, ensuring the safety and well-being of our community.
The City Council has set strategic goals to construct this complex, aligning with their vision for a better and safer Eureka. The 2040 General Plan Goals outline the need for protecting property, critical facilities, and human life from hazards, reducing the risk of loss from natural disasters, and effectively responding to emergencies. The Eureka Operations Complex will play a crucial role in achieving these goals.
The City's existing corporation yard has limitations that hinder the efficiency and effectiveness of public works operations. The proposed Eureka Operations Complex will provide a modern and functional space for our dedicated public works staff. The new facility will include an operations building, warehouse, fleet maintenance shop, and surrounding hardscape. It will have a maximum development footprint of approximately 210,000 square feet and will accommodate approximately 66 staff members.
To ensure the success of this project, the City has engaged Scott Edwards Architecture to facilitate the conceptual planning process. This process includes extensive analysis to quantify the development features, potential impacts, and mitigation measures. By involving experienced professionals, the City aims to create a design that is efficient, sustainable, and resilient.
One important aspect of this project is the procurement method chosen. Traditionally, the City has used a design-bid-build approach, which can lead to challenges such as higher bids and value engineering. To address these issues, the City is considering the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) method. With CMAR, the design and construction phases can overlap, ensuring better project understanding and continuity. It also allows for the inclusion of contractor input during the design process, reducing change orders and claims.
Using the CMAR method for the Eureka Operations Complex will enhance the design quality, reduce delivery time, and provide a single point of accountability. It will also offer greater cost certainty and lower project costs. This method has been successfully utilized by various state and local agencies, ensuring the best outcomes for complex construction projects.
As a congregation, we have a valuable role to play in supporting initiatives that benefit our community. The Eureka Operations Complex is a project that will enhance the safety and well-being of our city. Today, I encourage you to support the City Council's recommendation to explore potential funding sources, financing options, and proposed budget allocations. Let us pray for wisdom and guidance for the City Council as they make these important decisions.
In conclusion, let us remember the importance of building strong foundations, both in our personal lives and in our communities. The Eureka Operations Complex represents an opportunity to create a foundation that will protect our city, respond to emergencies, and support the dedicated public works staff who serve our community. May we stand united in our support for this project and pray for its successful realization.
God bless you all and God bless the City of Eureka. Amen.