Trustee Expresses Concern Over Renovation Costs
John Manieri suggested funding village hall renovations in stages in tight economic times.
During a Village Board discussion on village hall renovations, Trustee John Manieri suggested the village council be prudent with its finances and fund renovations in stages of priority.
“It seems like we’re getting real good like the federal government at spending money,” Manieri said Monday night.
The village has access to $500,000 in captured building performance bond money, which was set aside for the renovation of the Village Hall.
Manieri said there are other areas where the money could be used, especially in times of tight budgets. He said some of the funds could be used to help pay off the $5 million debt on the new police station.
“I can’t support the entire package right now,” he said.
The renovation plan, which has been discussed since 2009, includes new furniture, new audio-visual and cable television equipment, wallpaper, and lowering of the dais in the board room. There is also some expected renovation in the conference room. Last year the Public Works Department developed a rough estimate of cost, totaling $798,839 for interior and exterior renovations.
Josephine Goets, the renovation and design consultant tapped by the village, said the dais will have to be removed due to it being inaccessible to wheelchairs, per the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Trustee Bob Grela said the renovation is desperately needed. Not only is the building old, but he said the furniture is about 25 years old and is in need of replacing. With the village hall being a public space used by many citizens, aesthetic improvements are wanted, he said.
“This is a public space. This is what our residents see and it’s time to upgrade,” Grela said.
That $500,000 will provide necessary upgrades in the audio-visual capabilities of the board room. He said the current A/V technology is akin to opting to watch a movie on an old Betamax player as opposed to a Blu-Ray player.
Additionally Grela said he took exception to some reports suggesting the village would be using taxpayer money to fund the renovations of the board room. He said the $500,000 earmarked for the project is from the forfeiture of performance bonds.
Manieri said he agreed with the need to upgrade the audio-visual capabilities at village hall, but said he did not support using it to purchase new furniture or wallpaper.
“I didn’t know that wallpaper and chairs had a must replace by date on them,” he said.
Final plans are expected in December and, if approved, bids could go out in January.