DeKALB – The DeKalb City Council will have to think about what they want city hall to look like once the police department moves into its new station.
Public Works Director T.J. Moore will present to the council Monday a $57,925 proposal to examine the building before any remodeling is done.
“Once we start talking about moving walls, we’re going to run into some structural issues,” Moore said. “And that’s the kind of thing that can get very expensive very quickly. The smarter we can be up front, the better we’re going to be.”
Renovation and construction at city hall has been budgeted at $4.6 million over the next several years. The project would be funded by the city’s tax increment financing accounts, which can be used by city officials to rehabilitate blighted areas.
At 200 S. Fourth St., city hall is included in a TIF district, which is projected to have $5.9 million in its account at the end of the current fiscal year. The $5.9 million includes $460,000 that has been budgeted for the remodeling.
The majority of the $4.6 million budget, Moore said, is allocated and accounted for in seven fiscal years in the TIF budget.
Sixth Ward Alderman Dave Baker had asked at a previous City Council meeting if it was necessary to allocate money for examining the building.
Moore said it was needed because previous assessments were done to see if the police station could be accommodated in the building, in ways such as adding a structure onto the existing city hall, or expanding the department into the basement.
“This is a different kind of assessment,” Moore said.
Documents released Thursday state that the building was constructed in 1966 and has “been only modestly updated.”
“The building is quite energy inefficient, and the existing mechanical systems often lead to a work environment where the building is quite uncomfortable,” the document states.
In particular, Moore said air leaks out of the windows and both the heating and cooling systems are “pretty rough right now.”
Once the new police station is built at 700 W. Lincoln Highway, the public works and information technology departments would move back into the building.
Those departments are currently located at 223 S. Fourth St.