PI councilors approve next stage of city hall renovation, swear in elected councilors

Frances Lawson

Presque Isle town councilors gave their approval Wednesday for metropolis assessor Lewis Cousins to start doing the job with County-primarily based engineering corporations to place out project bids for renovations of Town Hall. PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Presque Isle city councilors gave their approval Wednesday for metropolis assessor Lewis Cousins […]

Presque Isle town councilors gave their approval Wednesday for metropolis assessor Lewis Cousins to start doing the job with County-primarily based engineering corporations to place out project bids for renovations of Town Hall.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Presque Isle city councilors gave their approval Wednesday for metropolis assessor Lewis Cousins to commence functioning with County-centered engineering corporations to place out undertaking bids for renovations of Metropolis Corridor.

Cousins gave the council an update on renovations styles established by the Caribou-dependent Aviest Engineering, LLC and Lagasse Drafting Companies in the course of the typical council conference. 

The now authorised plans involve the subsequent for the 1st-flooring of City Corridor: renovations to make the rest room compliant with the Us citizens with Disabilities Act, voting booths for early election voting, window replacement and LED lighting. The clerk’s business office, basic guidance space and departments at this time on that ground will be rearranged to accommodate the different renovations.

On the next and third flooring, the spots of numerous metropolis places of work will be rearranged and renovated so that staff members customers are closer to colleagues in related departments. The existing configuration has to do with the setting up being 100 a long time previous and not at first intended to household business office areas, Cousins said.

The primary structure of the creating as a medical center experienced rooms that ended up as well massive and not economical as office environment place,” Cousins reported. “Over time, as staff positions improved, staff members were usually put in readily available place of work areas that may well not have been the great areas.”

Kevin Freeman (standing, behind desk) takes the oath of place of work from City Clerk Tom King whilst councilor Mike Chasse looks on. (Melissa Lizotte | The Star Herald)

Town councilor Craig Inexperienced (standing powering table) requires the oath of business as a re-elected councilor from Town Clerk Tom King while councilor Mike Chasse looks on. (Melissa Lizotte | The Star Herald)

The upstairs flooring will also have ADA-compliant bogs after the renovations. The total building will get new air flow and air-conditioning methods, and the 3rd-ground council Chambers will obtain new carpeting and paint.

Cousins famous that the overall price tag of the challenge and predicted discounts in annually charges will be established soon after the city goes out to bid on the renovations and approves developing materials and a design timeline. The town will shell out for the upgrades making use of resources from a making renovation reserve account that is part of the city’s annual budget.

“There are no supplemental costs [to local taxpayers],” Cousins stated, about the renovations.

The fate of Metropolis Corridor has been an concern up for debate at a lot of council conferences in recent decades. Though the building has been through insignificant upgrades due to the fact the 1980s, new assignments, together with repairs to the roof, flooring, front methods, amongst other people, have cost the city more than $120,000.

In 2015, the metropolis prepared to sell the then-95-calendar year-aged building to developers who stated they would flip the building into apartments, but the likely consumers backed out of the deal before it was finalized. While councilors the moment explored the possibility of leasing yet another creating to use as City Hall, all those plans were being turned down due to substantial hire and expenditures related to constructing repairs.

For the duration of Wednesday’s conference, Councilor Mike Chasse mentioned the prolonged conversations that have taken place in regards to City Hall and expressed relief that a renovation system is eventually underway.

“I’ve been on the council seven a long time and one particular of our key focuses has been Metropolis Corridor. We looked at likely 4 or five distinctive spots [for alternate City Hall sites],” Chasse stated. “We’ve got a high-quality City Hall below and it is very good that we’re last but not least placing the cash into creating our staff very pleased of this building.”

The council voted unanimously to enable Cousins and the engineers to put out bids for development products and compute detailed fees and a job timeline. Cousins stated that he hopes building will get started by early summertime.

In other small business, the council formally swore in two users — Kevin Freeman and Craig Eco-friendly — who have 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 since 2016. Craig Inexperienced has been a councilor because 2012.

The council also unanimously elected one of its latest councilors, Jacob Shaw, to provide as deputy chairperson. Councilor Randy Smith initially nominated previous chairperson Chasse, but Chasse declined the supply, citing a occupied timetable and wanting to see other councilors provide in management roles.

“It’s excellent for the council to have different management above the a long time,” Chasse mentioned.

Freeman thanked Chasse for his time as deputy chairperson and thanked the councilors for re-electing him to an additional time period as council chairperson. He gave credit history to the town councilors and committee members for their contributions.

“We could not make decisions without the tips and consent of many others. This is a team energy. I’m just the person that runs the meetings,” Freeman said.

The council voted to proceed reserving the initially Wednesday of every single thirty day period as their typical conference date. The next town council assembly will occur at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3, in City Corridor.

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