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New police station lease approved

A five-year extension of the police department's lease in the Sequim Village Center shopping center at 609 W. Washington St. that includes the former Danny's Restaurant was approved unanimously at the Nov. 10 city council meeting.

The new agreement will save the city money even if the additional 5,280 square feet isn't used, interim city manager Robert Spinks told the council.

Spinks presented the new lease to the council last month after saying construction of a new police station was five years away.

The city could save as much as $1,000 a year because other rental rates are $1.25 to $1.50 a square foot compared to the 50 cents per square foot the city is being charged, Spinks said.

"So we can save money by adding space?" City Councilor Paul McHugh said before voting to approve the lease extension.

Spinks said the additional space wouldn't be used just for employees but also for training, interview and victim holding areas, evidence storage and the canine unit. However, it will require some specialized remodeling estimated at about

$300,000, he said.

The remodeling costs will come from the city facilities fund that is being used to save money for a new city hall and police station.

The new lease will include the existing 1,000-square-foot detectives annex for $11,885 annually. It also will include the existing 5,280-square-foot police station plus the 5,280-square-foot former Danny's Restaurant and Village Event Center for $81,156 annually. The total rent for police department space in 2009 will be $95,041.

The city also expects to receive $12,000 annually in sublease payments from the Clallam County Sheriff's Office using the Sequim Police Department's space.

In exchange for a five-year lease, the city would get below market rate rent for two years with increases in the three remaining years being tied to the Seattle area's cost of living index.

The city also would get an escape clause if it leases a new police station from landlord Dick McNish in the future.

City Councilor Ken Hays said they had talked about including accurate remodeling costs in future memos to the council.

Spinks said that already is in the budget and the other options cost more. The council will approve cost estimates and a plan prior to remodeling, he said.

Capital projects manager Frank Needham said a representative from Arai-Jackson Architects was scheduled to walk through the building and give the city an estimate for the remodeling.

Hays said if they lease the space and the remodel costs $1.3 million, that's a problem. Spinks said that as an architect, Hays knows a remodeling project always can be scaled back. Needham said the remodeling estimate is $232,000 so the entire project might cost $300,000.

"I see no reason not to approve it," said City Councilor Walt Schubert.



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