City approves funds for renovation project

By Gary Brock -

London City Council Monday night appropriated $1.6 million for the South Walnut Street administrative offices project and $49,999 for additional work in the building’s multi-purpose area.

In May, council adopted an amended ordinance authorizing $1,600,000 in bonds to improve and equip the building. The resolution during the special meeting Monday was to accept the funds and place it in the correct line of credit to pay for the project at 20 S. Walnut St., according to Mayor Pat Closser.

“Council had set an amount they did not want to exceed. We had hoped the bid on the whole project would have come in under this amount, but that didn’t happen,” he said, leading to the need for the additional appropriation.

The second resolution for $49,999 was to do work on the multi-purpose room’s ceiling while the heating and air conditioning duct work is being done. “It will be cheaper to do it this way,” said council member Rex Castle. The work will involve encapsulating the asbestos in the ceiling.

Closser said the funds for this will not come from the city’s general fund, but instead from a separate Walnut Street fund that had already been established.

Currently, most city administrative offices are housed in two buildings that date from 1910 and 1920. One is at 102 S. Main St. and 6 E. Second St. The Second Street building houses the mayor’s office, city council chambers and safety-services director. The South Main address houses the BPU, auditor and tax director.

Both are in need of repair, Castle said at the time. He estimated it would cost at least $500,000 to bring them up to city code.

Closser said the remodeling and renovation work on South Walnut Street is already under way. “We are trucking right along.”

As for when the project will be finished, Closser said he is looking at a completion date of next spring.

By Gary Brock

Reach General Manager/Editor Gary Brock at 937-556-5759.

Reach General Manager/Editor Gary Brock at 937-556-5759.