Tim Vandenack, Standard Examiner
NORTH OGDEN – After 10 years of on-and-off discussions, the ground has officially been laid on what may be the most expensive project in North Ogden’s history – a new police department building.
City leaders, however, stress that it will not be an overdone structure with excessive bells and whistles. Instead, the focus will be on reducing clutter in the existing structure at 515 E. 2600 North and providing police with a more modern and safe place to work.
“This is something our city has needed for a very long time and is finally paying off,” Mayor Neal Berube said. North Ogden, like other towns in Weber County, grew. The police now has 22 sworn officers.
Berube, Police Chief Dirk Quinney, numerous police officers and other city officials and residents were on hand for Thursday’s ceremony just east of the existing police department on open land where the new 25,000-foot structure squares must be built. The cost is estimated at $12.4 million, according to contractor Big-D Construction, though city officials have budgeted up to $13.75 million for the building. Of the $13.75 million, $4 million will come from existing city coffers and $9.75 million will come from bond financing.
The work is expected to last 12 to 14 months and once completed, the police will move into the new structure and the old one will be demolished. The new building will also house the North Ogden Magistrate’s Court, identical to the existing structure, as well as code enforcement and animal control offices, approximately 30 workers in all.
According to Big-D Construction, the existing public safety building dates back to 1962 and has undergone “multiple additions” since.
Berube called the project the costliest in the city’s history, and the new estimated price of $12.4-13.75 million represents a jump from the original cost estimate of $9.6 million. of dollars. Inflation and rising building material prices have pushed up costs, also forcing officials last month to accept a second bond to cover the higher price.
Indeed, some along the way have complained about the cost and Berube – who says public safety is the primary responsibility of local government – praised city officials for going ahead with the project. “It’s not easy to build a facility of this size and scale without having the guts,” he said.
The work launch also comes as North Ogden officials are is considering a property tax hike for the 2023 fiscal yearsubject of a tax truth hearing on August 9. Berube pointed out that the cost of the police structure is not included in the proposed tax hike.
The city’s proposal provides for a maximum tax increase of 41.55%, which would increase collections from $1.8 million for 2022 to $2.54 million for 2023, not including revenue generated by the new growth. Berube, however, said officials would likely seek “significantly less” than the maximum 41.55% hike when finalizing the budget, although he did not provide a specific figure.
Tim Vandenack, Standard Examiner
He said the extra funding was needed to correct an ‘accounting error’ in city record keeping, to raise pay for city workers by an average of 5.75%, to cover rising fuel costs. for the city’s fleet of vehicles and for possible remuneration in the middle of the year. hikes.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with the exact day of the inauguration ceremony.