A new public works facility will cost taxpayers about $6.3 million, according to the most recent estimate from the city. The expense will be bonded over 20 or 25 years; however, City Manager Joe Slocum said the city will probably use interim financing until a bid for the project is approved.

"We can't really go to bond until we know how much it will cost," he said, "and we won't know how much it costs until we get bids."

The new Public Works complex would be built on a 33-acre tract on Crocker Road, replacing the department's aging Congress Street garage. The centerpiece of the new facility would be a 27,000-square-foot garage capable of storing all of the Public Works Department's trucks and equipment. Additionally, the complex would include a sand and salt shed and ground space for piles of bulk materials.

An initial estimate put the cost at just under $7.5 million. After several months of work, Slocum said, the city's oversight committee was able to reduce that number to about $6.3 million. Architectural and engineering fees, land acquisition and an upgrade to three-phase power would add another $655,000. The Public Works Department would contribute $290,000 worth of site work.

Slocum said the facility would be designed to last 50 years and would be paid for over about half that time by the same taxpayers who would be benefiting from the project.