Many taxpayers question why their city government should move from the current Municipal Building. City officials have said the property can be better utilized and the existing building is beyond repair. Taxpayers have not been given a comprehensive plan. I suggest professional advice to identify the costs required to achieve improvements for providing a safe and clean environment for our employees and citizens. Information based on facts could decrease taxpayers concerns and ensure timely results in the future. Keep in mind the citizens expect their infrastructure and assets to be maintained properly by their elected officials.
The City Building Committee produced a final report on Dec. 11, 2007, which determined the Adelphia Building site would best be utilized as the city hall complex. This would be accomplished by demolishing the current Adelphia building, purchasing adjoining properties for expansion, and constructing a new Municipal Building complex.
The CBC did not have the ability to obtain professional services to support their recommendations and it was anticipated the adjoining properties would be relatively inexpensive to acquire. City Council authorized the mayor to hire an appraiser (July 30, 2007) and the mayor reported (Aug. 27, 2007) it would cost $500,000 to acquire a portion of property needed to build a new Municipal Building.
Based on the above information I recommend city officials expand their options and include the existing Municipal Building site. This is based on the potential to significantly increase taxpayer costs associated with property procurement to meet office space and parking requirements.
The current Municipal Building site is twice the size of the current Adelphia Building site and has no reported buyers to date. The Marting Foundation should be requested to release appropriate funds to raze the existing building at the Adelphia site to provide for future development.
I recognize the Marting's building and annex as a liability unless a new owner is identified. The CBC Final Report offered numerous suggestions, which to date has not been accomplished. A new advisory committee was formed Aug. 13, 2007, to expedite the process of relocating the Municipal Building and make recommendations to Council when necessary.
On Jan. 29, First Ward Councilman reported the new committee was recommending the police department and Municipal Courts be located in a new building at the Adelphia site and recommended some City offices be located in the Marting's building.
I question a proposal to use the Marting's building for city offices. This option was answered by a negative vote of the citizens in May 2006. Taxpayers are not convinced maintaining several buildings is cost effective or provides the best public service options.
I recommend if new owners are not located for the Marting's building or Annex then a request to the Marting's Foundation should be made to release appropriate funds to raze the existing structures with the goal to provide for future downtown development.
3rd Ward council representative,