Citizens question cost of new city complex 

The city is on the verge of making a multimillion-dollar mistake with its proposal to build a city hall complex at the Sharp Park Sewer Plant buildings, according to some concerned residents who say current cost estimates are too low.

The city has authorized $2 million toward the project at 2212 Beach Blvd., which, in its conceptual phases, is expected to involve stripping down and essentially rebuilding the former sewer plant buildings.

Mayor Pete DeJarnatt, interim City Manager Bill Norton and Public Works Director Scott Holmes met Jan. 22 with Jim Wagner, a former Planning Commission member and mortgage broker, and Cynthia Montanez, a project manager for a general contracting firm with more than 20 years experience in obtaining estimates, about the proposal.

Wagner said the project as proposed doesn’t make "dollars and sense" because the estimate the city is working with is low.

Montanez in December privately asked 15 subcontracting firms, made up of union, nonunion and a variety of trade groups, to review the City Hall proposal. The firms came in with bids estimating $5.7 million worth of work, Wagner said.

The city is currently reviewing a draft environmental impact report and conceptual designs for the project, said Norton, who took over city manager duties three weeks ago. There are many directions the project could go, Norton said.

"I think we’re a little too early in this project to know what the costs are and what the project actually is," he said.

DeJarnatt did not return phone calls Monday.

Plans include an 18,000-square-foot, completely "green" City Hall with new council chambers, according to a May 2006 staff report. The proposed buildings would only occupy 8 percent of the 3.2-acre site.

The propertyshould appeal to developers if the city should go that way because it is "prime real estate," Councilwoman Sue Digre said.

Information about Pacifica City Council meetings is available online at the Pacifica Internet Cafe.

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