BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Editor
The new City of the Village of Clarkston City Hall building is so nice, one would be hard-pressed to realize it was truly a community effort.
At Monday’s open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony, dozens of residents attended and took in the details of the new building, located at 375 Depot Road next to Depot Park.
Clarkston City Manager Jonathan Smith called it “a big day” for the city.
“This is a huge accomplishment,” said Smith. “This was an effort years in the making, going back years and years when people said we needed a bigger building, a place for our city council, a place for all of our equipment. Bringing that all back home into one building was our huge goal and we’re so happy with the final result.”
The budget for the project was $300,000, according to Smith, who noted due to community donations and help from local contractors and Clarkston Community Schools’ CSMTech program, the final cost was $272,500 – nearly $30,000 under budget.
“The original estimate for this building was $600,000,” noted Smith. “And we did it for 272 (thousand).”
Monies were also used from a “self-funded loan from ourselves from our water and sewer fund,” said Smith.
“It’s a one percent loan and it’s a very economical approach for funding a project like this,” added Smith, who noted the city owes $98,000 to the city of Detroit as its share for a failed sewer main this year.
“The sewer repair bill, however, is something entirely separate, but regardless if this building had been built or not, that (Detroit sewer) bill was going to have to be paid, and $98,000 is not just something you absorb. It has to be paid by the residents, unfortunately, but we have to investigate all this. There will be public hearings to decide if that’s the right path.”
Clarkston Mayor Eric Haven also enjoyed Monday’s festivities.
“Volunteerism is huge in a community of 900 people with 400 homes,” Haven said. “We pull together. This building is a testament to the volunteerism here in this town. This is a symbol of community spirit.”