City Hall project moves forward

Meeting at 5:30 tonight to discuss plans

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Craig City Hall has old carpet, old paint and wasted space, City Manager Jim Ferree said.

The City Council plans to meet at 5:30 p.m. in Council chambers and discuss hiring an architect to design a remodel plan for the 30-year-old building.

In addition to cosmetic work - such as new carpet and paint, which Council members have call "embarrassing" - the city plans to knock down a few walls and take advantage of City Hall's basement floor.

The basement has been used as storage since the Craig Police Department left to set up shop in the Public Safety Center. The Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership also has an office there.

With the exception of EDP, most of the basement amounts to wasted space, Ferree said, especially when departments such as utilities and Parks and Recreation have to share room with each other.

At least one department could move down to the basement, he said.

Ferree added the city does not plan to build any additions, although that may happen in the future.

The city does not plan to seek bids for an architecture firm.

Ferree said city officials anticipate a contract that does not exceed $10,000, which is a small enough expense to not require a bidding process. The city likely will contract with Robert Ralston & Associates of Steamboat Springs.

Ralston & Associates has done work at City Hall before, Ferree added, as well as other places around Craig, and seemed to be the most qualified firm for the project.

After getting an architectural design, the city plans to open bids for construction projects. Ferree said nothing will start before Jan. 1, 2009.

Concerns about the general economy won't affect City Hall's remodel, he added. The Council's meeting tonight will focus on parsing through the city's wish list to see what is possible and affordable.

"We're not going to do anymore than we afford," Ferree said. "That's what this meeting is all about."

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