City can prevent potential boondogglePublished 9:08pm Wednesday, August 29, 2012
The City of Niles’ purchase of the former Bank of America building for a new city hall location was a “bargain” at $253,000. The building was appraised at $765,000 and new construction was estimated at $5 million. The purchase also freed up a historic building for museum space and filled a vacant, three-story eyesore. Seems like a no-brainer.
But the 14,000-square-foot building is not move-in ready, and the $150,000 anticipated renovation cost is quickly ballooning.
A lack of contractors willing to take on the project, a third-floor remodeling job and other unforeseen obstacles make us wonder if the city put the cart before the horse with the purchase.
Now calculated at $285,000, the project is far above the first quoted number, which city officials initially said was the top dollar amount.
That $135,000 increase is climbing. Quotes for other expenses have not yet been received, making us wonder, how far will it go?
Perhaps some areas in need of renovation can wait until the future, or bids will decrease over the winter. The city should stop and evaluate the numbers before moving any further on the renovation.
This editorial represents the views of the editorial board.