Initially, plans for the new building placed the facility on the current municipal parking area across the street from the old city building at 518 Second Ave. However, after concerns were expressed about how this placement would affect parking, as well as future growth for the county offices, the city commission discussed the possibility of placing the new justice center, which will house the Gallipolis Municipal Court, Gallipolis Police Department and Gallipolis City Solicitor, on the current site of the municipal building.
After discussing the plausibility of locating the building on the old municipal building site with project engineer Randy Breech, who reported that the current design for the justice center could fit at 518 Second Ave. with few alterations, the commission went forward with plans to locate the building at that site.
A total of two emergency resolutions, two emergency ordinances, and the second reading of an ordinance — all in relation of the construction of the so-called “justice center” — were passed unanimously by the commission on Tuesday.
The first emergency resolution will allow City Auditor Annette Landers to request bids for construction loans for a new municipal building.
According to Landers, this will allow the city to accept bids for quotes for interest rates for a loan for the costs associated with a new justice center.
The second emergency resolution will allow City Manager Randy Finney to advertise for bids for the construction of a new municipal building.
“We still have to have a town meeting to talk to people about what’s going on, but I’m trying to get this ordinance passed so we can go ahead and get things lined up,” Finney said and Commission President Jim Cozza further explained that the passage of this ordinance will allow the city to begin paperwork for the process of the construction.
“We’re doing ‘B’ before ‘A’ but ‘B’ isn’t going to really happen. He’s [Breech] not really going to do this. He’s just trying to get ahead of the game so once we’re ready to go, we can drop it immediately,” Cozza said.
The commission also passed the second reading of an ordinance that will authorize the city manager to sign documentation for the purchase of property located at 512 Second Ave. for the price of $80,000.
The purchase of the property, known as the “Cox property” will allow for access to the back of the new justice center for city police vehicles. The Cox property located at 512 Second Ave. is “L”-shaped and currently houses a vacant building.
The first reading of this ordinance was passed during the last special meeting of the city commission held on March 15.
An emergency ordinance that declares the city’s official intent with respect to reimbursement of temporary advances made for capital expenditures for the city, to be made from subsequent borrowings, was also passed by the city.
The city auditor further described this ordinance.
“Where we’re buying the Cox property and we want to be able to reimburse ourselves from the proceeds from that loan ... we have to make an official declaration that that is our intent ... because that’s required by the IRS to do that,” Landers explained.
The city commission also passed an emergency ordinance that will allow the city manger to advertise and sell by bid, the Davis Hall property. The ordinance further stipulates that the property shall be sold to the highest bidder unless no bid meets the minimum value of $200,000.
According to Finney, bids for the asbestos abatement and demolition of the old city building were received by his office on Wednesday. The bid or bids for this project are expected to be awarded at the next regular city commission meeting on Tuesday, April 5.
The abatement process is expected to begin by mid April while the demolition of the building is expected to begin by mid May. Complete demolition should be complete by the end of June.
A public meeting concerning the design of the structure of the new municipal building has not be scheduled as of press time. Panich and Noel Architectural Firm of Athens, Ohio, has been hired to complete design on the structure.