The Town of Medina board of supervisors has narrowly voted against a proposed agreement with a contractor to create a formal project cost estimate and plans for the construction of a new town hall.
The initial cost estimate for the new town hall is between $1.5 million and $1.6 million, but this total does not include costs associated with demolishing existing buildings, wells and septic infrastructure, civil engineering, soil borings, electric and gas hookups, building security and a contingency plan, town clerk Tammy Jordan said in a statement to the Courier.
The contractor, National Construction, had attended several meetings with the new town hall committee, made up of town residents and one board member, prior to the June 29 meeting. After these meetings, the committee recommended that the town board contract with National Construction for $14,400, which would cover the cost of three meetings with architects, including architectural schematic designs, a budget, a schedule and a final project scope document.
The board voted 3-2 against the contract, citing concerns over justifying the cost of the projection since it doesn’t include all costs associated with the project.
“What they offered in the contract was a construction total of $1,495,000 to $1,605,000. That was their project estimate, but it’s just for the building,” Jordan said. “The board didn’t want to pay the $14,400 unless they had the whole project total.”
The board also wants a total project projection rather than just the building costs to “avoid misleading town residents of the total cost of the project,” Jordan added in a written statement.
Chairman Todd Weinberger and supervisor Phillip Braithwaite voted in favor of the contract with National Construction, while supervisors John Hellenbrand, John Ward and Sue Zingshiem all voted against the contract.
The future of the proposed town hall construction is up in the air at this point. Jordan said that the subject will be included in the agenda for the board’s July 13 meeting, but she’s unsure whether National Construction will still be involved with the project or if the board is moving in another direction.
In an April advisory referendum, 57% of Medina voters voted against the borrowing of funds to build a new town hall and garage. Because it was an advisory referendum, it does not prevent Medina from building a new town hall using borrowed funds.