The City Council has given Ashworth and Knell architects approval to proceed with final plans for new public safety and administration buildings.
After five years of frugality with taxpayers' money, the city has saved enough to build at least one and possibly both buildings without acquiring bond debt.Whether the city will be able to build both buildings depends on how the construction bids come in, said Mayor George Tripp.
"We're not sure yet of the total cost, but we think we're on the borderline of having enough for both," he said.
Tripp said the city has estimated the public safety building will cost $550,000, and the administration building about $250,000. If actual bids come in higher, the city will build only the public safety building. The administration building would be built when the city has saved enough money to cover construction costs.
"I don't believe in bonding for everything," Tripp said. "I think you should save money and pay as you go."
Final drawings for the buildings should be finished by January. The projects will be bid in February, with construction expected to begin in the spring.
The buildings will be located on property purchased from the Alpine School District, between First and Second North and Center Street and First East. The city demolished part of the old junior high on the site to make room for the new buildings. A portion of that junior high was saved, however, and is being remodeled into a new city library and senior citizens center. The library and senior center will be completed in November.
The police and fire departments are being housed in the Memorial Building, which is inadequate for those purposes, Tripp said. He also said the building being used for city administration has severe structural and maintenance problems.
"About once a week we have to get the floor repaired because of buckling caused by leaking pipes, and during the winter we're often without heat," he said.
The new public safety building will house the police and fire departments and the city court.
The Memorial Building will then be used by the Lehi division of the American Legion, and for cultural and civic functions. The city ambulance service will move into the fire department building.