Firm and estimated costs are close to $1.9 million. But that’s not all of the anticipated work, like a new roof, installing and extending utilities, pouring concrete floors, and installing the historic tin ceiling panels.
City Manager Joshua Smith told the council that, based on Director of Engineering Rich Engle’s numbers, it will cost roughly $1 million to move the two structures and place them on a new foundation. That means they’ll have another $1 million to improve the building.
“That’s where I think Council’s going to have to make some policy decisions,” Smith said. “What’s more important, a roof or a parking lot? Windows or something else? We have to itemize everything that’s outstanding and prioritize from there and figure out what the remaining balance will get us to.”
Councilmember Carla Fiehrer said while the number of costs that are still only estimates concerns her, she just doesn’t like the location, and can’t imagine a business wanting to locate there because of the trains that pass by. She doesn’t think someone will want to be fewer than 300 feet from a set of tracks where CSX trains run around 60 times a day.
“I know everybody thinks I don’t want to save this building, and well everybody, you’re wrong. That’s not the case. The way we’re doing it is what bothers me,” she said.
Local businesses have operated near the railroad tracks, including McDonald’s, and Amp Brewery is planning to open next year not far from the tracks on Maple Avenue.
Mayor Pat Moeller said he’d like the staff “to continue to look at these and continue to shave them, to see where that takes us.”
“I’m looking at what we can do to cost contain here,” he said. “We want to do basic service as well, but this is something that’s history and I just think we have to give it every smart opportunity we can to see what we can do with this.”
Moeller hopes the new location would spur some interest “because you start getting more of a vision when it’s on Maple Avenue, as you try and repurpose and change all of Maple Avenue than where it is right now.”