Lynnwood City Council set to vote Sept. 13 on construction contract for Community Justice Center

After weeks of delays, the Lynnwood City Council will vote Monday whether approve the contract for construction of the city’s controversial Community Justice Center project.

Last month, the council voted to delay authorizing the mayor to execute a contract with Forma Construction Company to redevelop and expand Lynnwood’s existing police department, municipal court and jail in the amount of $56,380,704.52 and execute change orders up to 10% of the contract amount.

At its Aug. 2 meeting, the council voted to delay awarding the contract while a task force explored ways to incorporate more behavioral health services. Last week, the group proposed reducing the amount of jail beds to make space for a separate facility designated as a Community Recovery Center. According to the task force, the facility will serve the growing behavioral health needs of Lynnwood and South Snohomish County. The council is also set to adopt a resolution pledging the city’s commitment to developing the center.

The council is also set to vote on two other contracts regarding the Community Justice Center — one for special construction inspection and another regarding geotechnical construction testing services.

In other business, the council is scheduled to continue its discussion regarding how to spend the city’s portion of the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) COVID-19 relief funds. Lynnwood was awarded $10.9 million to be paid in two installments. Staff have initially requested $1.488 million to fill vacant city staff positions to ensure the city’s ability to provide “necessary direct customer service to community members as operations resume.”

So far, $732,000 was approved by council to rehire some staff and purchase body cameras for the Lynnwood Police Department. During the Monday meeting, the council will consider approving the rest of staff’s requests which include $150,000 for upgrades to the equipment in the Lynnwood City Hall council chambers used to stream council meetings and $656,000 to fund 8.2 full-time equivalent (FTE) city staff positions through 2022.

Councilmembers will be meeting remotely and will stream the meeting at 6 p.m. live via Zoom, which can be accessed via the council’s webpage on the city’s website. To view the full business meeting agenda, click here.

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