“We’ve spent more in some areas and less in others, so overall, we are right where we need to be,” he said.
About $987,000 in repairs and renovations are underway, as well as a $1.2 million energy efficiency upgrade. The project began around May and is projected to be complete next spring.
Energy upgrades, performed by Trane through a savings guarantee program, include installation of new heating ventilation and air conditioning equipment in the Municipal Complex, as well as upgraded lighting and programmable thermostats throughout city buildings. Whetstone said Trane has already replaced lights and is approximately 70 percent done with HVAC installation.
Asbestos removal and encapsulation in the front entrance of City Hall is largely complete and will come in either at its $46,000 budget or slightly under, Whetstone estimated.
Replacement of the “curtain walls,” the tall windows at either of the main City Hall entrances, will be let for bid by Lathan and Associates Architects on Oct. 15, and should start 30 to 60 days after. The $223,000 project will replace the large window panels, which Whetstone said no longer meet building codes and “are actually pretty dangerous,” with a series of smaller windows. It also includes replacement of concrete patios and creation of handicap ramps at each entrance.
Downstairs, the former jail at the Police Department has been demolished, and the city is preparing to bid piping and construction to turn the area into administration offices. This will move all police operations to one side of the building, rather than splitting them across a parking lot as they are now. The cost for these renovations is budgeted at $286,600. The present admin area will eventually be used for storage.
An additional $153,000 is set for Fire Department renovations, mainly to the living quarters, that are just getting started.
Roofing replacement and repair is also about 90 percent complete. Every part of the roof was either replaced or repaired in some way, Whetstone said. The work, budgeted at $110,000, should come in slightly under budget.
City Hall improvements are being financed through a 15-year general obligation warrant at 2.8 percent interest, and energy upgrades are a 15-year GO warrant at 3 percent interest. The city approved $2.2 million in warrants in May for these projects, along with the purchase of a fire truck and street sweeper.
A separate project to install new air conditioning units at J. Craig Smith Community Center is also in progress, but hit a snag when bids twice came in more than the budgeted number. The City Council recently awarded the low bid of $125,500 to Trinity Contractors, contingent upon lowering the expenses using value engineering.
Contact Emily McLain at firstname.lastname@example.org.