or sale or lease: Large office building within walking distance of downtown Parkville. Ideal for municipal offices. Asking price has yet to be determined, but all reasonable offers will be entertained.
After mulling over alternatives for months, there may soon be a vacancy sign hanging in the front window of Parkville’s current city hall, as the city’s board of aldermen gave a preliminary nod to a newly unveiled plan to relocate the civic hub to a new facility it would like to construct at Parkville Commons.
The board unanimously empowered Mayor Kathryn Dusenbery to enter into a letter of intent to authorize certificates of participation, not exceeding $2.45 million, to finance the initial costs of acquiring the new city hall. An ordinance is required to pass the board before final approval is granted.
If final approval of the lease-purchase agreement is achieved, the city’s new home will be located in Parkville Commons at the corner of Lewis Street and Clark Avenue. The proposed facility allows the city 24,000 square feet, which would permit room to accommodate additional staff to keep pace with current growth projections. Annual lease payments for the new facility are $195 thousand. The site plan also includes available space for an addition and annex to the proposed facility to meet long term needs.
Last fall, the board commissioned a consulting firm to perform a space needs analysis. It found that it would cost approximately $1 million to make necessary repairs and upgrades to the city’s current facility and $3.1 million to expand the existing city hall to 13,000 square feet. The expansion project, however, would only accommodate the city’s short term needs.
Alderman Deborah Butcher lauded the board for its fiscal discipline in arriving at the decision. “We will not be going back to the taxpayers,” she promised.
City Administrator Joe Turner indicated that the city could afford the project under its existing budget. According to current cost projections, he said, “[t]he general fund is in balance.” The estimates allowed for foreseeable inflationary rises.
Turner, however, ceded that some capital improvement projects may be delayed for one to two years to move forward with the current construction plans.
Last year, Parkville voters approved bonds for expansions and upgrades to the current city hall. The acquisition of the proposed facility relies on those monies and other funds earmarked for capital improvement projects.
The change will require the city to exercise a substitute provision in the measure. No one, however, offered an explanation for why the analyses were not undertaken before the bond question was presented to voters.
If the project gains full passage, the city will have a new neighbor in the Commons, as the board also approved site plans and signage for Parkville Common’s newest tenant, Walgreen’s pharmacy.
In other business, the board established 2005 property tax rates as it set the levy on all real and personal property at .6512 cents per $100.00 in assessed value. Nearly three-fourths of the property tax rate is allocated for the general operating budget with the remainder going towards capital improvements and servicing the city’s debt.
The board’s resident finance guru, Alderman Marvin Ferguson, noted that current rates were one-half cent less than last year’s rates.
Main Street Parkville President Tom Hutsler announced that the Grand Marshall for the 2005 Parkville Days Riverfest Parade will be a lady who is familiar to most Parkville residents. Maxine McKeon addressed the board as she accepted the honor. “We’re really looking forward to a great year,” she offered.
McKeon thanked the city for its part in setting aside a staging area for the annual beauty pageant and for the addition of steps to the stage. She beamed, “For that, I would very much like to thank the whole board, the park board, and especially the mayor.”