County Hires Facilities Consultant

Written by Neil Farrell

Neil has been a journalist covering the Estero Bay Area for over 27 years. He’s won numerous journalism awards in several different categories over his career.

December 18, 2020

County Supervisors approved a $1.02 million, 3-year contract with a consultant to go around and assess the condition of County owned facilities and come up with a plan and cost estimates to repair and maintain them.

County officials pulled from several funding sources to come up with the money for the contract with Cannon/Parkin, Inc. of Buffalo, NY, having to come up with $487,900 this fiscal year for the contract.

Actually, the County Administration had come to the board with this item back in May 2020 but with the coronavirus pandemic response and the uncertainty of County finances, it was tabled and the staff told to bring it back at a later date. That time was Dec. 8, when the item returned to the Supervisors.

The County pulled $62,616 out of the Parks Department reserves; $263,993 out of Facilities Master Planning funds; and $161,290 from the Building Replacement Reserves fund.

The “Facilities Condition Assessment” or FCA study will look at all County facilities, from the coastal access points in Cayucos, and other coastal communities, to County offices. The idea for such a study goes back to 2014 with “the objective of identifying and prioritizing deferred maintenance to support effective planning of necessary maintenance and capital projects,” reads a staff report. The FCA was put on a 5-year cycle and is to be updated regularly, with the initial 5-year contract expiring in December 2019.

Some 127 County facilities were included in that series of reports and, “Each report outlines specific repair recommendations for each building assessed.”

The County uses data from the FCA studies to plan out maintenance projects in the annual County budget, and, “ develop and forecast longer term replacement of major elements such as roofing and HVAC systems. In addition, the entire inventory of facility assets can be analyzed for the most efficient long-term investment strategy.”

Cannon/Parkin’s contract will include updating previous studies, adding new County facilities to the FCA, and “inventory and barcoding of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing equipment assets,” according to the report. “The County does not currently have a comprehensive and accurate inventory of building system assets.”

The contract includes a 5-year subscription to FOScore™ software a “capital planning and management software tool. “Using a cost/benefit analysis called “Facility Condition Index” or FCI, the County rated the condition of every one of the 127 facilities in the initial studies.

Under the FCI scale, good conditioned buildings rated 0-5%; 6-10% was fair; 11-30 poor and anything above 31 I considered critical. “The average assessed FCI for all 127 locations assessed was 11.06%,” the County report said, “which means County buildings were in poor condition overall. Once all funded repairs are completed, the average FCI will be reduced to 8.3%, which will mean County buildings are in fair condition overall.”

And, “The [Cannon/Parkin’s] contract includes an assessment of County park facilities other than buildings, identified in the contract as ‘park amenities.’ These park amenities include features which require maintenance and repairs such as pools, playgrounds, sport courts, trails, campgrounds, boat docks, bridges, and other similar local amenities.
“The contract includes geolocating these amenities to assist in accurately tracking and forecasting associated deferred maintenance and costs.”

In June 2019, the County went out for proposals to do the FCA study and got four companies expressing interest. A selection committee with people from County Parks and Recreation, Public Works and Central Services selected three to interview that August.

Though headquartered in Buffalo, Cannon/Parkin has an office in Los Angeles that will be doing the County’s FCA. The company “received the highest scores from the selection committee based on completeness of submittal, understanding and approach to the project, professional qualifications, experience with similar projects, quality control, and response to interview questions.”
The stepped up timeline — from a 5-year study to a 3-year one — will give the County a more accurate list of needed repairs and to plan for future repair projects.

Though some of the older County offices are in rough shape, it’s the parks that have the most deferred maintenance projects. “The addition of the park amenities,” reads the report, “will help the Parks and Recreation Department better quantify the current deferred maintenance needs for existing park and recreation amenities.

“This information will also allow the Parks and Recreation Department to prioritize and more effectively address ongoing facility maintenance needs to better deliver services to the public.”

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