The agenda for the Tuesday, Oct. 18 meeting calls for the City Council to consider funding the design of new equipment services garage for city vehicles.
Two agenda items deal with this issue. One is to approve an architectural and engineering design services contract for $2.3 million with CPL Architects. The other is to establish a garage facilities bond fund to pay the contract. The estimated cost of the new equipment services garage is $30 million.
One thing that makes this contract interesting is that in June 2021, when the City Council was considering a proposal to provide Greensboro police officers with take-home patrol cars, about $16 million to $18 million of the cost of this new equipment services garage was included in the cost of providing an additional 20 police patrol cars.
Adding over half the cost of the new equipment services garage to the cost of purchasing, outfitting and maintaining the 20 new police vehicles made the cost to the city appear exorbitant and the City Council did not include the 20 additional take-home police cars in the 2021-2022 city budget.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan, a proponent of providing the police with take-home patrol cars, questioned adding over half the cost of the new equipment services garage to the cost of 20 patrol cars when the city owns over 2,000 vehicles that have to be maintained.
It wasn’t until November 2021 that Vaughan could find the votes to provide an additional 20 police patrol vehicles with the stated plan of providing 20 additional vehicles each year for five years. The City Council could at any time revise that plan to not provide any additional patrol cars.
As noted in the agenda, the planning for the new equipment services garage began in April 2021, long before the June City Council meeting when over half the cost was added to the cost of providing 20 additional vehicles for the Greensboro Police Department.