The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is asking for an additional $29.3 million in the 2018-19 state budget to build a local office in Pensacola.
An FDLE representative told a meeting of the Florida Cabinet Aides on Wednesday that the budget request was being moved from the Department of Management Services (DMS), the state’s real estate manager.
“The total estimated cost is $32.3 million for design and construction,” according to a Cabinet meeting agenda item. “An additional $4.8 million will be required for fixtures, furniture and equipment in (fiscal year 2019-20).”
If the agency doesn’t get the building money, it says it “will be forced to re-sign a new lease agreement with the same owner despite the building condition,” the agenda says. The agency’s “growth in operations” in northwest Florida “has outgrown the current leased space which is in need of costly renovations.”
Based on market research, “there are no suitable leases in the area to accommodate the agency’s unique business needs of investigative and crime lab services,” the agency said.
“The department is anticipating growth in domestic security functions and biology services and the current location is unable to accommodate expansion and suitable renovations to meet future workloads.”
The request will be considered by Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet – Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and CFO Jimmy Patronis – at next Tuesday’s meeting.