The Frederick Board of County Commissioners today approved the Countywide Synergy and Efficiency Concept Plan developed by the Building Consolidation Task Force that maps a five-year effort to centralize "like" functions and improve existing space utilization. The plan returns several county properties to the tax rolls; realizes considerable savings in maintenance, repair, utility and ancillary expenses; releases $2.5 million budgeted for the 520 North Market Capital Improvements Program project, and terminates two costly leases.
Acting Director Chuck Nipe of the Division of Public Works presented the task force’s concept plan to the commissioners as part of an initiative to achieve synergies and efficiencies in county government. The task force focused on the services and operations of all the organizations comprising Frederick County Government relative to existing building capacity.
Board President Blaine Young commented, "We commend the task force for their vision in increasing the effective use of government facilities with the overall goal of improving our service to our most important customers - the citizen of Frederick County. This long-term ‘road map’ has the potential to reduce costs by consolidating county programs, staff and services into facilities that meet their needs, as well as the needs of the taxpayers. This plan is yet one more way that this board is working diligently to oversee county finances and show that we are good stewards of the funds entrusted to us and to future county officials."
At the direction of the board, the Building Consolidation Tax Force was formed last year and charged with examining county facilities in order to improve efficiencies in county government.
Key elements of the concept plan include:
· Termination of the 520 North Market Street facility HVAC replacement project and advertising the building for sale. Most Citizens Services Division personnel will be temporarily moved to the Public Safety Training Facility (PSTF), except for the Child Advocacy Center, which would be moved to the Emergency Services Building at 340 Montevue Lane.
· Making optimal use of the PSTF site by moving Division of Fire & Rescue Services (DFRS) Logistics from Scholls Lane to the PSTF campus to join other DFRS staff. Also, the plan includes relocation of the county’s Emergency Operations Center, 9-1-1 back-up center and Division of Emergency Management to the PSTF.
· The 340 Montevue Lane building will be repurposed as a new home for the Citizens Services Division and the majority of its departments due to the close proximity to the Frederick County Health Department and associated TransIT stops that are advantageous to staff and clients. Alternate locations for the Housing Department and Workforce Services, which currently occupy leased spaces, are still to be determined.
· The North Montevue Campus where the Montevue Adaptive Reuse Project, Highway Operations and Fleet Services are located will ultimately absorb the Division of Public Works Maintenance personnel and shops currently on Pine Avenue. The Pine Avenue property will be available for sale or consideration as a downtown Frederick fire station site.
With approval of the concept plan, staff will now undertake project programming during the upcoming Capital Improvements Program budget discussions.