Budget constraints have prompted Oro Valley to consider placing construction of its long-planned municipal operations center on hold.

The town council could decide on Wednesday whether to shelve the planned $33-million project intended to house police, water and public works departments.

The town bought the 23-acre site at Rancho Vistoso Boulevard and Innovation Park Drive in 2006 for $4.7 million.

Four options remain on the table for the property, including building the facility in one phase as originally planned; building over several phases; selling the land and transferring the project to a portion of the Naranja Town Site property; or putting the entire project on hold until the economic situation improves.

Each of the options carries its own set of issues, in particular the proposal to sell the property. In that option, the town would have to seek voter approval to sell the land, and endorse a plan for the proceeds.

With the phased-building approach, it's likely the long-term costs would be greater.

The option of building the municipal operations center in one phase would have the least impact on town finances in the long term, but would impact the budget significantly in the coming budget year.

Putting the project on hold wouldn't cost the town in the short term, but could add to the costs as labor and material expenses increase over time.

Police substation in doubt

A planned Oro Valley police substation at the Oro Valley Marketplace also could be taken off the table at Wednesday's town council meeting.

The town signed a lease for the building in 2007. Marketplace owner Vestar Development Company agreed to lease the 3,500-square-foot property for $1 per year.

The estimated price tag to outfit the building could top $350,000.

The proposed substation is intended to provide work space for various units, including the department's bicycle and traffic teams. Also planned for the site are special events and emergency coordination centers and a detainee holding facility.

The police also rent a facility at Oracle and Magee roads, and another on Rancho Vistoso Boulevard. The department pays in monthly rent and utilities for the facilities $4,200 and $2,400, respectively.

Town Council

WHAT: Oro Valley Town Council

WHEN: May 6; 6 p.m.

WHERE: Oro Valley Town Hall, 11000 N. La Cañada Drive

The Oro Valley Town Council meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

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