Bids sought for city hall work

City hall expansion is back on the table, after City Council voted unanimously to solicit bids for the project.
Expected to cost $250,000-$300,000, the work would include an 1,380-square-foot addition for a bigger DPW garage and meeting space, storage for city records and archives currently stored offsite, public restrooms, secure office space for city staff, offices for city manager and treasurer, and 24-hour security system and camera coverage.
If completed, the city would no longer have to spend $1,900 annually for portable toilet rental in Depot Park and $8,400 annually for storage space in the Baylis Barn, about $10,000 a year, said Dennis Ritter, Facilities Committee member.
Even if not approved, the city faces repair costs including a new roof for city hall, $40,000; deteriorating rear exterior office wall, $20,000; and security upgrades, $20,000, for a total of $80,000, Ritter said.
Council member Jason Kneisc said spring will come soon and time is tight for the project.
“It costs nothing to send it out to bid,” Kneisc said. “I would like to have a starting point of the actual costs – if it comes back at $600,000, I’m pretty sure it’s dead on arrival.”
The project was last sent out for bid in 2016, and rejected by City Council after bids came back in excess of $500,000.
City Council voted last September to approve $2,000 to rework the plan for new bids. About $1,500 of that money has been spent, Ritter said.
City hall expansion talk started in 2012, when the city ended its lease of 3 E. Church. When first proposed, estimated cost of the project was $100,000 to $125,000. A petition by 116 residents at the time called for reconsideration of the project.
– Phil Custodio