A renovation plan for Dayton City Hall was approved by council during Monday night’s meeting. The renovations, not to exceed $500,000, will restructure the first floor layout to minimize wasted space and should extend the life of the building.
City Manager Theo Melancon, in his last city council meeting before moving on to a new job with the City of Dickinson, explained that the last renovation to City Hall was two decades ago.
“What we are trying to do with City Hall is extend its life for the long term. With some of the recent changes to state laws regarding general obligation versus certificate of obligation funding, it really is imperative that we stretch out our use of City Hall as long as possible,” he explained.
Council has been considering the renovation project for several months, before the costs of building materials sent the cost skyward. With those costs now coming back down, the City still expects that renovations will go beyond the original estimates of $360,000 to $370,000.
The layout for the first floor calls for a lobby with seating for the public and four customer service stations where City employees can take payments for utilities, fiber Internet or landfill use fees. The former city council chambers will be divided into work stations for various City departments. Conference rooms and offices will be placed on exterior walls.
Melancon explained that major water and sewer repairs are needed.
“I am sure the facilities maintenance would love to stop having to deal with these plumbing issues,” he said.
Melancon reminded Council that $250,000 for the project was set aside from the last municipal bond. He suggested funding for the rest of the repairs and renovations could come from the City’s water and sewer fund.
“Council, you already approved the scope of work, which is large. You had it under budget until construction costs blew it out of the water,” he said, adding, “We have a good design for the first floor that can really open up a lot of ability to put a lot of people in [this space]. I think some things can also be done on the second floor, but it will have to be scaled back.”
After a few hesitant moments, Council members in attendance voted unanimously to approve the renovation project. Absent from the meeting was Councilman Alvin Burress. A start date for the renovations has not been set at this time.