THOUSAND OAKS : Cost of Service Center Rises to $4.2 Million

Thousand Oaks will spend an additional $1.2 million on a new municipal service center, bringing the total the city will spend on the facility to $4.2 million.

The city sold the old city service yard to Amgen for $3 million, a sum that was supposed to cover the cost of building a comparable replacement facility. Amgen also donated 10 acres in the Rancho Conejo Industrial Park to house the new service center.

But the Department of Public Works has determined that it will cost another $1.2 million to upgrade the new facility by adding extra-wide service bays, a fueling site, elevators and other amenities not available in the old yard, Public Works Director John Clement said.

The City Council authorized the $1.2-million expenditure this week, after Clement assured members that the improvements would enhance his department's efficiency.

The money will come from development fees, gas tax revenues and landscape-maintenance district funds.

Spending more money on the facility will not force the Department of Public Works to cut its road repair, traffic-light maintenance or any other services, Clement said.

"We have planned for this in the budget and we really need the enhancements," he said.

Councilwoman Elois Zeanah cast the lone vote against the expenditure.

"I just think the timing is wrong," she said.

"We're talking about spending $1.2 million for add-ons to a city facility, using capital and landscape-maintenance funds, when that money is needed for other projects."

But Mayor Judy Lazar argued that the expenditure was necessary to replace an "inefficient and ineffective" old yard with a "state-of-the-art facility."

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