PI councilors approve future phase of metropolis hall renovation, swear in elected councilors

Presque Isle city councilors gave their approval Wednesday for city assessor Lewis Cousins to start working with County-primarily based engineering companies to set out challenge bids for renovations of City Corridor.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Presque Isle city councilors gave their approval Wednesday for city assessor Lewis Cousins to start out doing work with County-based engineering firms to set out task bids for renovations of Metropolis Hall.

Cousins gave the council an update on renovations designs made by the Caribou-centered Aviest Engineering, LLC and Lagasse Drafting Products and services throughout the standard council assembly. 

The now accepted options consist of the subsequent for the first-ground of Town Hall: renovations to make the toilet compliant with the People in america with Disabilities Act, voting booths for early election voting, window replacement and LED lights. The clerk’s business office, common help area and departments at present on that floor will be rearranged to accommodate the a variety of renovations.

On the second and third flooring, the spots of various city offices will be rearranged and renovated so that staff users are closer to colleagues in similar departments. The current configuration has to do with the making being 100 a long time old and not initially intended to home business office areas, Cousins claimed.

The primary structure of the creating as a medical center had rooms that had been as well substantial and not efficient as business place,” Cousins claimed. “Over time, as employees positions transformed, staff members were often placed in offered business areas that may well not have been the best spots.”

Kevin Freeman (standing, at the rear of table) takes the oath of place of work from Metropolis Clerk Tom King although councilor Mike Chasse appears to be like on. (Melissa Lizotte | The Star Herald)

Town councilor Craig Environmentally friendly (standing driving desk) takes the oath of place of work as a re-elected councilor from Town Clerk Tom King although councilor Mike Chasse appears on. (Melissa Lizotte | The Star Herald)

The upstairs flooring will also have ADA-compliant bogs soon after the renovations. The total setting up will obtain new ventilation and air-conditioning devices, and the third-flooring council Chambers will obtain new carpeting and paint.

Cousins pointed out that the overall expense of the challenge and predicted financial savings in yearly fees will be established right after the metropolis goes out to bid on the renovations and approves developing products and a development timeline. The metropolis will pay for the updates working with cash from a setting up renovation reserve account that is element of the city’s yearly price range.

“There are no more expenses [to local taxpayers],” Cousins mentioned, about the renovations.

The fate of City Hall has been an problem up for debate at several council meetings in new yrs. While the creating has undergone insignificant updates considering that the 1980s, latest tasks, together with repairs to the roof, floors, entrance actions, among the many others, have cost the metropolis additional than $120,000.

In 2015, the city planned to sell the then-95-calendar year-old setting up to developers who claimed they would convert the building into flats, but the possible buyers backed out of the deal just before it was finalized. Although councilors at the time explored the likelihood of leasing another setting up to use as City Corridor, those people programs had been turned down due to high lease and expenses similar to creating repairs.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Councilor Mike Chasse famous the lengthy conversations that have taken put in regards to Metropolis Hall and expressed aid that a renovation approach is ultimately underway.

“I’ve been on the council 7 several years and a single of our key focuses has been Metropolis Corridor. We seemed at possibly 4 or five distinct places [for alternate City Hall sites],” Chasse claimed. “We’ve acquired a good City Corridor in this article and it’s excellent that we’re last but not least placing the funds into earning our personnel very pleased of this creating.”

The council voted unanimously to let Cousins and the engineers to put out bids for building resources and calculate detailed charges and a project timeline. Cousins mentioned that he hopes design will start off by early summertime.

In other business, the council formally swore in two associates — Kevin Freeman and Craig Green — who had been re-elected for the duration of the November 2020 elections. Freeman, who was unanimously re-elected as council chairperson, has served on the council due to the fact 2016. Craig Environmentally friendly has been a councilor considering that 2012.

The council also unanimously elected just one of its most recent councilors, Jacob Shaw, to provide as deputy chairperson. Councilor Randy Smith initially nominated former chairperson Chasse, but Chasse declined the give, citing a busy agenda and wanting to see other councilors serve in leadership roles.

“It’s very good for the council to have unique management about the a long time,” Chasse said.

Freeman thanked Chasse for his time as deputy chairperson and thanked the councilors for re-electing him to a further term as council chairperson. He gave credit score to the metropolis councilors and committee associates for their contributions.

“We could not make choices with out the suggestions and consent of other individuals. This is a team effort and hard work. I’m just the guy that operates the conferences,” Freeman said.

The council voted to go on reserving the to start with Wednesday of each and every thirty day period as their normal assembly date. The next city council assembly will occur at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3, in Town Hall.

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