North County Fire Protection District has selected Brandis Tallman, LLC, to secure financing for the replacement of Station 5 in Bonsall.
A 5-0 NCFPD board vote August 27 approved a professional services contract in which Brandis Tallman will be paid $17,500 should the San Francisco company locate financing and should the NCFPD board approve the financing and the additional station expenditures at a September 10 special meeting.
“This is the first step in moving forward in building the fire station,” said NCFPD fire chief Bill Metcalf. “This contract retains them as a mortgage broker to place us with a potential lender.”
Station 5 is currently located near Bonsall Elementary School. NCFPD plans to build a new station near the intersection of State Route 76 and Olive Hill Road. NCFPD began the permit process with the county in early 2010, when construction costs were lower due to economic conditions, but the permitting process took more than three years and construction costs increased during that time.
In 2010 the architectural consultant provided an estimate of approximately $3.5 million, although that was based on construction beginning that year. This year the fire district sent a request for proposals and received six bids which were opened June 19. The lowest base bid was $4,662,000 and the highest was $4,967,000. When optional items were added the bids ranged from $4,700,464 to $4,997,800. The bids from the contractors are good for 90 days.
At the June 25 board meeting NCFPD deputy fire chief Ed Sprague gave a presentation which was a discussion item rather than a voting action and sought direction from the board to staff. The board directed NCFPD staff to research funding options and return to the board with findings.
“Staff has been looking for financing alternatives, and we believe we have found them,” Metcalf said.
NCFPD staff identified and contacted three financing companies. Municipal Finance Corporation, who provided the initial bond financing package in 2010, did not wish to be involved in the current issuance. California Bank and Trust did not make a firm commitment and seemed unable to meet the NCFPD timeline requirements.
Brandis Tallman is the representative of the California Special District Finance Corporation. The company has already identified Capital One Public Finance as a willing lender which can meet the district’s timeline.
Brandis Tallman will work with Capital One Public Finance or any other companies on a financing package for NCFPD. Brandis Tallman will be paid only if NCFPD approves the additional fire station expenditure and the financing arrangement. “There is no obligation if they are unable to secure financing or if the board decides on the tenth not to build the station,” Metcalf said.
NCFPD’s regular board meetings are on the fourth Tuesday of the month, but if the district had waited until its September 24 meeting the bids would no longer be valid so the special September 10 meeting was scheduled. “We can get this done before these bids expire,” Metcalf said.