City council approves purchase of former STC bus depot for new RPS headquarters
Regina City Council has approved the multi-million dollar purchase of the former Saskatchewan Transportation Company bus depot for the expansion of the Regina Police Service headquarters.
The motion was passed 10 to 1 during Monday night’s council meeting.
The project is expected to cost around $37 million, with $16.25 million for the purchase of the building and two neighbouring parking lots, and another $21 million for renovating the building.
The city has proposed that the funding will come from reserves, with $18.4 million from general reserves and $18.6 million from asset revitalization reserves.
During Monday’s council meeting, Councillor Andrew Stevens voiced concerns over the purchase, including how the city would replenish those reserves.
The expansion would address overcrowding at RPS headquarters, which have been a growing issue for years now.
“It is our most pressing priority for infrastructure in the city,” Mayor Michal Fougere said Monday afternoon. “The police service is in a 40-year-old building and they’ve outgrown that building for a number of years. They have seven different locations where they have other operations that are not consolidated in for more efficiencies.”
“We’re simply growing, and this is a way to provide a surprising gift that came to us.”
However, there have been questions raised over the appraisals for the building. The city’s offer to the province was based on a $15.5 million appraisal from B.R. Graffney & Associates for the entire parcel and furniture.
Earlier this month Minister Responsible for STC Joe Hargrave said the province’s third party appraiser valued the parcel at $10 million.
Mayor Fougere clarified that statement on Monday.
“To be clear, the province’s appraisal went to $10 to $14 million, most appraisals give you a range, so the range of $10 to $14 million is within the range we expected it to be. So there’s no issue there,” Mayor Fougere said.
“We wanted the building and in a competitive process you put out what you think is the more competitive offer. That’s what we did and we won the bid.”
It’s estimated building an entirely new facility would have cost around $140 million.
Renovations and alterations to the building could go between 2019 and 2020.
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.