The Fate City Council soon could consider action that will kick off plans for a new city hall.

The action is expected to come in the form of a resolution designating design-build as the concept that will be used to construct the facility.

Design-build, the concept used recently to construct the Fate fire station, was discussed Monday night during a workshop that was held after the council’s regular meeting.

Mayor Bill Broderick said the discussion was a “starting process” to get input from city council members regarding the preferred approach for construction. He mentioned the design-build concept as a possibility, but asked council members for “any alternative to that.” Based on the discussion that followed, all favored the design-build concept.

City Manager Vicki Mikel said design-build is “the best way and the best value.” The fire station project is the best example of that, she said.

The Texas Local Government Code states that a governmental entity may use the design-build method for the construction, rehabilitation, alteration or repair of a facility. In using that method and in entering into a contract for the services of a design-build firm, the contracting governmental entity and the design-build firm must follow procedures provided in the Texas Local Government Code.

Part of the process involves the city selecting or designating an engineer or architect to act as its representative to oversee the project. The city then will prepare a request for qualifications that will lead to the selection of a design-build firm.

An interview phase with the design-build firm is an important part of the process, according to Broderick, Mikel and City Councilman K.C. Erwin.

Broderick said the process is similar to a resident who is building a house. The resident meets with the builder and they discuss the overall project, including restrictions on costs and square footage, for example.

The builder later returns to the resident with plans for the house. At that time, there is a discussion regarding possible upgrades and “packages” to add or delete.

“We will all have an opportunity to sit down, I’m sure multiple times, and go through the actual exterior design and interior design,” the mayor said.

Councilman K.C. Erwin stressed the importance of the interview phase.

“I think we ended up with a good product last time (with the fire station) because that preliminary interview phase was well done,“ Erwin said. “We need to keep in mind the importance of that part of the process.”

City officials stressed that taxpayer funds will not be used to construct the facility.

During the discussion, Mikel said, “Just for the record, you may want to remind folks that money for the City Hall is being provided through developer contributions and not tax dollars.”

Broderick told a Fate Chamber of Commerce audience recently that the developer of the Williamsburg subdivision south of Interstate 30 had “released” $2 million in funds, clearing the way for construction of the City Hall in downtown Fate. He said the Fate Development Corporation already has purchased land across from the new fire station.

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