$1,000-a-day 'late fee' for city hall


Staff writer

The Federal Way City Council agreed last week to pay $30,000 to extend the police and court leases for a month, just in case the contractor doesn’t finish renovating the new city hall in time for the Police Department and Municipal Court to move in.

City staff said they might not need the extension — if they don’t, they don’t get a refund on the rent — but they want to make sure if renovations of the former Paragon building aren’t done in time, the police and court won’t be homeless.

The problem, assistant city manager Derek Matheson said, is the target date for cops and courts to move into the facility –– June 30 –– is exactly the same day the leases are up.

The lease extension would run through July 31, but the property owner is charging 120 percent of the monthly rent, which comes out to $30,000 — about $1,000 a day.

“It’s a $30,000-plus insurance policy, but it seems that to make sure public safety is not disrupted, it’s pretty important,” Councilwoman Mary Gates said.

Council members approved the allocation unanimously. The money will be absorbed into the $15 million project budget.

“Hopefully, as part of our managing the budget, we’ll keep it within the budget and not have to go into the contingency,” Matheson said. “But still, if not, there’s a 10 percent contingency.”

Councilman Jack Dovey reproached city staff, saying he hoped not to have a similar vote requesting money on future projects.

“We give you the budget and ask you to do what’s best for the project. To be unsure at this point, it seems like we missed something,” he said. “I don’t like to hear, ‘We’re not sure.’”

Architect Dave Clark has applied for a building permit for the first floor of the building, which will house the court and police. The building permit application for the second floor is expected soon, city manager David Moseley said.

City officials are expected to present designs for both floors of the facility and the parking lot to the council at its meeting next Tuesday.

The council agreed last March to purchase the Paragon building and nearby land for parking and to remodel the building for $15 million — $10 million less than what the council initially budgeted for a new city hall.

Construction is expected to begin early next year, and city officials hope to have the police and court moved in by the middle of the year.

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565,

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates