Purdy City Council approves city hall move

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Contractor hired to renovate community center

Purdy City Council members have voted to move forward with remodeling the Purdy Community Center into the new city hall.

With the closing of the Purdy Branch Library in April, the community building became open for other uses. Mayor Bo Prock has repeatedly said in council meetings that the city owns too much property and needs to divest itself of unneeded obligations.

Moving city offices into a more spacious facility would allow the council to sell or lease the current building and adjacent garage to another user. Prock has proposed leasing the buildings to the Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District.

After a tour of the community building last month, aldermen agreed to accept a bid from JDS Construction of Exeter to make renovations. Prior bids in the $110,000 range were deemed excessive and unmanageable, in part because bidders may have anticipated receiving prevailing wage rates.

JDS Construction bid $46,171.18 for reconfiguring the building through removing walls, taking out paneling and recovering them with drywall. A second $6,439.64 bid will cover placing new flooring on the east side of the building, where the existing floor was impacting by shelving from the library. The floor itself is solid, Clerk Debbie Redshaw said, set on a concrete pad.

The contractor, bidding for an indoor job during winter weather, expected to start after Jan. 7, 2020, and take approximately eight weeks to complete his work. He indicated the job would incur less expense working throughout the structure all at once, rather than one side at a time. Redshaw expected moving would progress after that on no set timetable, depending on how work proceeded.

Plans call for police offices in the back of the building and offices for the clerk on the library side. The west side, with its more open space, could provide room for council meetings and municipal court. Public works would move into the former fire station building across the street from the current city hall.

In other business, council members approved the annual audit from The CPA Group for the fiscal year ending June 30. Dawnata Hopkins with The CPA Group reported the city received a clean audit and made no recommendations for changing procedures.

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