Public Safety Center

Construction of the new Public Safety Center on the corner of Rouse and Tamarack will likely begin next week. 

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City commissioners approved Monday night spending no more than $36.4 million on building the Bozeman Public Safety Center. Construction could get underway as early as next week.

Chuck Winn, assistant city manager, presented the maximum price contract with Langlas & Associates to commissioners Monday, saying it’s the culmination of years of work.

The center will house police, courts, victim services and the fire crew that’s been at Fire Station No. 1. City leaders began talking about the need for such a project back in 2014. Voters approved a $36.9 million bond to pay for the public safety center in November 2018.

Speaking in support of the contract, Mayor Chris Mehl said the center will act like a Swiss Army knife to help the city provide important services.

“Let us not forget that one of our, if not the primary responsibility we have as a city is public safety,” Mehl said.

The average property owner of a 7,500 square foot lot will pay about $88 in taxes this year to go toward the project.

Winn said approval of the contract with Langlas & Associates means its guaranteed the city won’t pay more than $36.4 million for construction of the center.

“It is not a guarantee that we’re going to pay this much. In fact, we will probably not pay this entire amount,” Winn said.

Commissioners unanimously approved the contract.

The city announced last September that the project would come in $7 million cheaper than originally projected due to low interest rates and an improved bond rating for the city.

Winn said savings can be funneled back into the city’s general fund or be reinvested in the project, like to make the center a more eco-friendly building with additional solar panels.

Winn said staff have spent the last year finalizing designs for the building and preparing detailed budget projections, which inform the maximum price contract. Winn said construction on the project could begin next week.

The city began demolishing buildings on Rouse Avenue between Tamarack and Oak streets, just east of the Gallatin County Fairgrounds, last fall to make way for construction.

“We removed, reused and recycled the buildings on the site preparing it for construction,” Winn said.

Winn said the city has already installed utilities, stormwater drains and built some parking lots at the site. He said the project is on track to be completed by April 2022.

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Shaylee Ragar can be reached at sragar@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2607.

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