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The Suburbanite
  • Moving office to Bow Building could save $$

  • During a work session Monday, Stark County commissioners studied the cost analysis thatshows the county could save roughly $250,000 over 10 years by moving the Stark County Public Defender’s Office and some court supervision programs to the Bow building.

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  • Stark County commissioners would save roughly $250,000 over 10 years by moving the county Public Defender’s Office and some court supervision programs to the now vacant Frank T. Bow Federal Building, according to a financial analysis.
    During a work session Monday, commissioners compared the costs to operate four county office buildings versus the costs to move some of the offices to either the historical Bow building or to the county-owned Cohen-Joliet building on Regent Avenue NE, which had been used by the Stark Board of Developmental Disabilities.
    The Stark County Regional Planning Commission provided the financial scenarios to help commissioners decide whether the county should acquire the Bow building for free from the federal government. The application, which Regional Planning would complete on the county’s behalf, must be submitted by early March.
    COST ANALYSIS
    According to Regional Planning’s analysis, the most cost-effective option would be to relocate the Stark County Common Pleas Court’s Day Reporting Program, which leases space at 1375 Raff Rd. SW, and the offices housed at the aging Stark County Administration Building to the Bow Building. The Administration Building at 200 Tuscarawas St. W houses the Public Defender’s Office and Common Pleas’ Intensive Supervision Probation, Pre-Trial Release and Reentry Court programs.
    To keep those offices in their current locations would cost the county nearly $1.5 million over the next 10 years. If the offices moved to the first floor of the Bow building, the cost would be $1.2 million over the 10 years, the analysis shows.
    Court Administrator Marc Warner said the judges support the move because the court’s programs, which provide services and supervision to people awaiting trial, on probation or just released from prison, could better share resources if they are located under the same roof.
    Warner said the court is willing to help pay for part of the Bow’s estimated $918,915 renovation costs and to take responsibility for the care and maintenance of the building. He provided no specific figure on how much the court would be willing to contribute. Regional Planning included a $459,458 contribution from the court (half of the renovation cost) as part of its analysis, but acknowledged that the figure was speculative.
    Not included in the cost analysis are expenses related to: Installing a security system at the Bow building to screen incoming visitors, renovations to its second floor if more offices occupy the building and the construction of a small elevator if the second floor became occupied.
    Any proceeds from the sale of the Administration Building, which is appraised at $1.4 million, also are not calculated in the analysis.
    OTHER MOVES?
    Other potential office moves, such as relocating the county Board of Elections to the Cohen-Joliet Building, did not produce similar long-term savings for the county, according to the cost study.
    Page 2 of 2 - Commissioners didn’t dismiss plans to move other county offices, but indicated that they favored moving ahead with the relocation of the Administration Building offices and the Day Reporting program first. The board plans to tour the Bow building at 201 Cleveland Ave. SW. on Wednesday, and likely will vote on a formal resolution to submit an application to obtain the Bow building in the next several weeks.
    If the application is approved, the offices could be moved to the Bow building by fall.
    COST SCENARIOS
    The Stark County Regional Planning Commission provided a financial analysis to county commissioners Wednesday that compares the cost of operating various county offices at their current locations to the costs to operate them if they moved to either the historical Frank T. Bow building, which federal offices vacated last year, or the county-owned Cohen-Joliet building on Regent Avenue NE, which had been used by the Stark Board of Developmental Disabilities.
    The analysis involves the aging Stark County Administration Building, which houses Common Pleas Court’s Intensive Supervision Probation, Pre-Trial Release and Reentry Court programs, along with the Stark County Public Defender’s Office; the court’s Day Reporting program at 1375 Raff Rd. SW., the Data Processing Center, also known as the county’s Information Technology Department, at 225 Fourth St. NE; and the Stark County Board of Elections Building, which houses the county Board of Elections, Regional Planning, Records Center and the tax map office at 201 Third St. NE.
    According to the analysis, the county would spend:
    • $2.72 million over the next 10 years if it kept all the offices at their current locations. Just to keep the offices in the Administration Building and Day Reporting at their current locations would cost the board nearly $1.5 million over the next 10 years.
    • $2.98 million over the next 10 years if the offices moved to the Bow and Cohen-Joliet buildings.
    • $3 million over the next 10 years if Data Processing remained at its current location and the other offices moved to the Bow and Cohen-Joliet buildings.
    • $1.2 million over the next 10 years if the offices in the Administration Building and Day Reporting moved to the Bow Building. The county still would spend $1.2 million over 10 years to keep Board of Elections building and Data Processing Center open.
    The costs estimates include moving expenses, projected utility costs and identified renovations. Proceeds from the sale of the county buildings that are vacated are not included in the estimates.