Steve Bacon of Bacon Commercial Design attended last Thursday’s Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen meeting to answer questions about the planned renovations of the city hall building.
City officials had been taken aback by estimates of $375,000 for the project.
A budget of $200,000 had been anticipated.
City administrator Martin Toma said the city has the option of negotiating with the lowest bidder or to reject all bids and start over.
“In your opinion, is there any way to get this number closer to where we thought we were going to be?” Toma asked Bacon. “Any way possible?”
“There are ways to get closer,” Bacon said. “It depends on what ‘close enough’ is.”
Bacon said he had talked with the low bidder about possible options to reduce the price to something closer to $200,000.
“Through a combination of possibly allowing the city to do the demolition work and taking that out of the general contract, that would save some dollars,” Bacon said. “Possibly going to some alternate light fixtures would save some dollars.”
Bacon said a few other things could be changed, but that “to save anything that really makes much of a difference [in the price], you sort of have to take a chunk of the project off.”
He suggested the project be divided into two parts, the city hall portion and the police department portion.
He said the council chamber might also be separated into a separate portion of the project.
“As far as a strategy to do the same amount of work for closer to what the budget was hoped to be, early-on, I don’t really see anything viable,” Bacon said.
Mayor Paul Hassler wondered what the fair market value would be for the building.
“My biggest question is you don’t want to put paint on a pig,” Hassler said. “It’s pretty old. It became city hall in 1977 and before that, I understand it was a gas company and a bowling alley.”
Bacon said that “the structure and the envelope is solid” and that virtually none of the budget is going toward repairs.
See complete story in the March 20 edition of the Herald.