Potential improvements to City Hall took a step back as City Council removed them from the draft of the 2021 fiscal year budget.
In the proposed budget, staff included $1 million for City Hall customer service improvements, which were included in the draft report recently created by Stantec Consulting Services Inc. that evaluated the city’s long-term facility needs.
The renovation was part of a project to make the building compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, safer for staff and customers and more of a one-stop shop for people who need to pay utility bills, apply for permits or do other city business.
“The million dollars that’s in the CIP (capital improvement plan) right now for City Hall is a placeholder that’s been in there for a number of years. … We just don’t know exactly what those (improvements) are,” said Public Works Director Keegan Littrell at a special council meeting March 3. “We just know that there are ADA, safety and security (concerns) at the minimum.”
Mayor Kiernan McManus said had “no confidence” in the improvements at this point because the budget item was not specific enough.
Budget Manager Angela Manninen said even if the item was kept in the budget, council would still have to approve how any of the money was spent.
“I would be more comfortable with moving forward with that item still in there if it was more specific to being ADA accessibility improvements,” said Councilman James Howard Adams.
Councilwoman Claudia Bridges agreed.
McManus made a motion to remove the $1 million item from the budget but said it could be brought back into the 2021 fiscal year cycle when more information on the renovations is available.
During the meeting, McManus and council members also discussed changes they wanted made to the budget.
One of the items was a request from the Historic Preservation Committee for $700 to have two Historic Preservation Day awards, one commercial and one residential, given out per year, with each receiving a model of the winning property and a plaque.
Council did not take any action to remove the item from the proposed budget.
Additionally, in a 4-1 vote, council removed $80,000 from the proposed budget for a class and compensation study, which would evaluate the compensation packages for employees to ensure they were comparable to others in similar areas. Bridges voted against the removal.
City Manager Al Noyola said the studies are usually done every five years and 2013 was the last time one was done locally.
Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.
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