Hillsdale City Manager David Mackie requested that city council provide money in 2018 – 2019 budget for repairs to city hall.
“In the past, the condition of city hall was allowed to deteriorate to a point where the city had to spend over a million dollars renovating it,” Mackie said. “So, this expense is to keep the building from getting to that condition ever again.”
Mackie asked for $45,000 from Hillsdale City Council to repair city hall If city council includes the money for renovations in the budget, then they will begin in July, according to Director of Public Services Jake Hammel. He said the city plans to bid out the work to contractors, since his department does not have the workforce to complete the job and fulfill the rest of its obligations, such as repairing roads and parks.
The city first repaired city hall two years ago when the roof started to leak. Hammel said the next step for city hall is to repair the exterior. The city has not overhauled the exterior in 23 years.
“We have some mortar in places between the brick and sandstone that has eroded away over time, and some of the caulk and sealant around a lot of the windows has dried up and cracked,” he said. “The situation we’re in now is we have moisture getting through the outer walls.
Hammel said water seeps into the building, causing interior damage.
“It’s contributing some cracks on the walls and paint peeling and things like that,” he said.
He said damage to the building remains superficial, so it’s best to start on the project now. The city will save money in the long-term by making proactive repairs to the roof and exterior, preventing the moisture from damaging the building’s foundation.
“We got the roof done. We want to get the outside sealed up. We’ll get the brick joins re-mortared, get all the windows and building protrusions caulked and sealed back up nice and tight,” Hammel said. “That will set us up for the next few years, then we’ll go to work on the interior, fixing up the peeling spots and the cracks and repainting the walls.”
Hammel said he estimates the project will take two to three months. The work requires professional masons and equipment, so the city won’t complete the project in-house. Contractors will put up scaffolding and lifts. Plus, the project will need the full-time work of at least two people, which the city can’t spare.
“We won’t be cost effective is the bottom line,” he said.
Hammel said the building will get aesthetic repairs as well. Contractors will power wash the bricks and put a sealant on them They will also sand and stain the doors.
The city originally planned to repair city hall in phases, but Hammel said the costs were lower if contractors completed them all at one time.