The Roseville City Council discussed the future of the $8 million fire station construction project at its Monday meeting against the backdrop of a citizens' lawsuit, which contends the issue should be subject to a resident referendum.
In November, a citizens’ group, Responsible Governance For Roseville, filed a lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order on issuing bonds for the station, but a judge shot the group down. On Dec. 9, the group filed an appeal, which delayed the signing of the contract with the bonder.
Fire Chief Tim O’Neill said that the lawsuit has pushed the timing of the project back from its original April 30 start date.
“As we get closer to knowing what the appeals court does, we’ll be back in front of council,” he said.
O’Neill said that the fire department is entertaining a bid for construction of a training plaza behind the building.
Bill Malinen, Roseville city manager, said that if the lawsuit delays the project past the summer 2012 construction season, the cost of the new fire station would increase by 12 percent, or about $1 million.
Council member Jeff Johnson expressed frustration with the lawsuit-related delay. He said the project has already taken two-and-a-half years and $750,000 and he would support the project even if it can’t be completed this summer.
“This action has already cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said. “A lot of people have put a lot of time into it, it’s a beautiful plan and I want to see it come to fruition.”