At a special meeting of City Council on Thursday, Dec. 2, Ferndale City Manager Joseph Gacioch and Facilities Manager James Jameson presented results and findings from the recently completed Facilities Condition Assessment (FCA).
The assessment process has been ongoing since spring, following Council's approval of the study in April. The FCA—performed by inspection and certification firm Bureau Veritas LLC—will help the City identify facility needs and create a long-term plan to guide capital facilities spending for the next 20 years. The assessment was performed on ten of the City's municipal buildings:
It's considered industry standard as determined by the International Facility Manager's Association to have a comprehensive FCA performed on individual buildings every five years; the majority of Ferndale's municipal facilities have not undergone FCAs in the last 15-20 years or more. The assessment was a critically important step for our suite of facilities: the City's buildings are between 60 and 100 years old, building equipment is between 30 and 60 years old, and maintenance has historically been "decentralized," with important facility decision-making happening at the department level.
In recent years, City leadership has made considerable progress towards collecting necessary data and modernizing our facilities maintenance processes. A collaboration with the Ferndale School District on an ownership plan for the Community Center began in 2019. Later that year, the City hired its first Facilities Manager and established new facility budgets. Earlier this year, we launched the FCA, plus an energy audit, equipment index, and space study for each building.
The assessment was completed in November, with a final report and recommendations presented to City Council and the community on Thursday. The study identified a minimum of $7.5 million in repair, replacement, and preventative maintenance costs for city facilities over the next five years.
After a thorough presentation and discussion, City Council agreed to work through the City Manager's Office to convene a Mayor-appointed facilities task force. The group will review data; consider strategic priorities, such as sustainability (City buildings are the greatest government contributors of green house gasses); and help the City as it works to creates its first Strategic Facility Plan. The outcome will be a guide to capital spending for the next 20 years, allowing the City to prioritize funding for critical repairs and invest in long-term projects for the future.