Maintaining the Presque Isle City Hall building over the next five or ten years could cost somewhere between 250 and 500 thousand dollars – according to city manager Jim Bennett.
“Obviously all of the windows need to be redone in the building, the heating system, although the boiler has been fixed the rest hasn’t been replaced,” said Bennett.
And so the city council is looking at whether or not it makes sense to move to a different location. They discussed it Monday night.
“The council has consistently looked at everything they can possibly look at to try to find a way to be able to deliver services without having to reach into people’s pockets,” he said.
The current building — built in 1919 — was a former hospital according to Bennett. He says the long hallway going down the middle of all three floors is a waste of space.
“And then if you look at the building and the reductions that we’ve done we have a number of offices that are actually vacant..so we don’t probably need the space that we’re currently heating,” he said.
He says over the last few years they’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the building — that includes fixing the outside stairs a few years ago. At Monday’s meeting one resident brought up why they haven’t been fixed…Bennett said to completely redo the stairs would cost thousands of dollars — and they’re not sure its worth it.
“We could spend five grand and in three years from now have the same condition..is that really the right thing? I don’t think so.”
The city council is looking for proposals from people with available space to sell or lease until August 15th.. There’s also an August 22nd deadline for folks who want to buy the current building. Bennett wants to remind people that no decision has been made, they’re just weighing the options.