Tonight, the resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into a contract with Lacey Thayer Reilly Wilson LLC to do a feasibility study on moving City Hall to 400 State Street, a study to be funded by a $100,000 gift from the Galvan Initiatives Foundation, which currently owns the building and has offered to give it to the City, was defeated.
proposal presented to the Council a year ago, part of which is reproduced below, that set the total construction cost at less than $2.8 million. She asserted that the new Council should not be bound by decisions made by the previous Council.
Alder Margaret Morris (First Ward) noted that in 2007 the Hudson Area Library's plan for restoring the building set the cost at $8.8 million and $3 million of that was to be spent on "basic stuff"—foundation work, masonry repair, asbestos removal—things that were not included in the Galvan restoration plan. DePietro claimed that "a lot of the work has already been done" and that would reduce the cost. There is little evidence any of this basic restoration work has been undertaken by Galvan.
DePietro told the alders that proceeding with the feasibility study was not making any commitment. "It will tell us if the project is way out of line." Morris expressed the opinion that accepting the $100,000 from Galvan was not a good idea.
When the vote was taken, Daskaloudi, Morris, and Ryan Wallace (Third Ward) voted against the resolution; Council president Tom DePietro voted in favor; everyone else—Theo Anthony (Fourth Ward), Art Frick (First Ward), Dominic Merante (Fifth Ward), Mohammed Rony (Second Ward), Dewan Sarowar (Second Ward), Malachi Walker (Fourth Ward)—abstained. Newly appointed Third Ward alder Amber Harris could not vote because she had not yet been sworn in.
During the course of the discussion, DePietro explained that there had been three plans for fulfilling the City's settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to make City Hall ADA compliant: moving to the former John L. Edwards school building, which was not longer an option; moving to 400 State Street, which seemed to be not as popular as it once was; or making alterations to 520 Warren Street. He concluded, "If we want a fully compliant City Hall, we need to spend money."
In October 2019, the cost of the most expensive plan for making 520 Warren Street ADA compliant, the one that exposed the glorious stained glass laylight and had an addition at the rear of the building with an elevator that gave access to all floors including the basement storage area, was set at less than $3.2 million. At the informal meeting last week, Public Works commissioner Peter Bujanow said they were ready to go to bid on the alterations to 520 Warren Street—the minimum required to make the building ADA compliant. Let's hope before the City moves ahead with the least expensive plan, they take a serious look at the most expensive plan, which would make the building ADA compliant and also create a space for the code enforcement office.
If access can be provided up the side alley, or in the back door, why does the front of the building have to be altered?ReplyDelete
What seems to be an obvious solution--access from the side alley--has been explored more than once and found to be inadequate.Delete
I assume there was a good reason? Do you have any idea what it was? Is it not wide enough for compliance? If it's wide enough it would seem to be an obvious solution by simply making the doorway assessible.Delete
If I recall, width is the big issue.Delete
Don't we deserve an explanation on why so my representatives abstained? Seems they don't want to step on any toes but voicing an opinion is why they are elected.ReplyDelete
Six conflicted aldermen. Six. They're all on the Galvan gravy train. So nice for the city. Then there's the willfully blind, woefully inept or on the pad -- take your pick -- council president who hasn't noticed that there has been no work done on the old library since the roof was replaced (10 years ago? certainly before Galvan acquired it and began its campaign of benign neglect). I recall the roof alone cost a staggering amount.ReplyDelete
The old library is within Galvan's stated mission and competence. The fact that after acquiring it they essentially abandoned it tells us 2 things: that the estimated cost of rehabilitation at the time was even then staggeringly high, and that the Foundation itself is really not about preserving and rehabbing historic structures. Need further proof? See every other structure Galvan and its siblings and progeny have purchased in Hudson.
Well, even the billionaire found it too expensive, so now he’s trying to foist it off on Hudson.Delete
Too bad, the building looks cool, but you have to be looking at a huge budget.
Good for the three new alders for stepping up to the plate. They obviously have studied the situation. I would hope the other new alders would do the same to get up to speed - and as for the others - well... I agree with Gossips that the present City Hall proposals should be studied again. My own opinion is that it would be worth spending a bit more money to save the front facade and the trees and enter from the back. Plenty of parking back there and easy access.ReplyDelete
A rear entry would solve he problem and it could probably be accomplished without spending too much money. There is no reason millions need to be spent on elevators as no one has to go upstairs. On the rare occasions when a handicapped person wanted to meet with the Mayor our Council President, they could come downstairs to meet them. All city services can be met on the ground floor.Delete
We don't need any renovations. Most of the deals get done in the alley behind #520. LOL...ReplyDelete
On top of everything already said, I would be wary of any design by Walter Chatham Architect when it comes to preservation of a building such as this. The firm's aesthetic is undoubtedly contemporary. The cost for a rehab in the presentation, appears totally unrealistic. Restoration of the windows alone, is likely a very dear figure.ReplyDelete
Just put a few more vending machines out front of City Hall to handle all inter-personal transactions. Of course, none of them would have a sign or words indicating what the machine is intended to be used for.ReplyDelete
Good to see Ms. Morris is hitting the ground running and doing her homework. Hopefully the others will be caught up soon so they can vote on the issues. Even though many abstained, it doesn't seem like they're pushovers to the president either. I'm very optimistic about the new Council!ReplyDelete