The Union Board of Aldermen recently approved a 10-year note to pay the remaining portion of the new city hall building for half the original projected cost.
The city is borrowing $753,000 from the United Bank of Union. When the city approved the overall $4.5 million project in its 2019-20 budget, it anticipated paying $1.5 million in certificates of appreciation.
“We were pretty pleased that it was less than half of that,” former City Administrator, now administrative consultant, Russell Rost told The Missourian.
The city’s annual payment of $83,000 includes interest at a 2.5 percent rate, Rost said.
The certificates will be reflected in the 2020-21 budget.
According to the 2019-20 budget, the city also is taking $2 million out of the general fund and $1 million out of the water/wastewater cash balances to pay for the new city hall.
“This is the final piece, this gets city hall finished and it shows that the project went very well as far as funding,” Rost said of the money being borrowed at the board’s May 11 meeting.
The new city hall is not only on time, it is ahead of scheduled completion. Originally slated to open in the fall, the city now plans to start moving in July 22 and open the new building to the public July 27.
The city hosted the official groundbreaking for the new city hall project in October 2019. The groundbreaking was a culmination of work to get the site ready for a new building.
The city has never had a building designated specifically for city hall. Through the years, it has shared space with the fire department, police department and the city auditorium.
The city agreed to purchase the former Fricks grocery store in late March 2018 for $475,000 from Central Markets Inc. The city stated it intended to use the site for the first permanent city hall in Union’s history.
In the summer of 2019, the city razed the old Fricks and cleared the way for construction to begin. Meanwhile, the city’s owner representative Navigate Building Solutions, and Horn Architects worked on preparing for the new facility.
Work on the site started in September 2019.
The new city hall will be approximately 12,000 square feet and will house the city’s administration, collector’s office, boardroom, court, meeting room and engineering department.
The city started looking for ways to improve city hall after an accessibility study in 2017 showed major issues with the auditorium.
The current city hall is in need of work because it has a number of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issues. Horn’s 2017 feasibility study on the current auditorium found a wide range of issues that needed to be addressed to meet federal standards.
Based on the study, the city decided the best way to move forward would be to leave the auditorium and build a new city hall.
Once the new city hall is finished, Union plans to partially renovate and upgrade the auditorium. The majority of city staff will move to the new building while others, like the parks department, will stay behind.
The renovation work on the auditorium is expected to start when the new city hall is finished.