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Investment in Broadway lot to become Valley Falls city hall

Valley Falls city hallHeinen Custom Operations cleared the debris from the lot, leaving only the front wall facing the street. Last week they constructed a new roof and will soon enclose the structure. The city council has designated the building as the location for the next city hall, the seventh move in 40 years.

Story and photos by Clarke Davis

Valley Falls City Hall will one day be located back on Broadway, this time at 417 — currently a vacant lot owned by the city.

The building last housed the Eaton family who presented the deed to the city as a gift after they were unable to afford the upkeep on the building.

Valley Falls city hall

417 Broadway

The city paid the back taxes and accepted title to the land in order to preserve the front of the building and stop the deterioration from spreading to those business buildings sharing common walls.

Councilwoman Lucy Thomas was first to suggest the city relocate to Broadway and she drove the point home at the Jan. 5 meeting with a motion to do so.

With the city’s cost expected to be a minimum of $30,000 to haul away the old building and construct a roof and back wall, Thomas said there would never be a way for the town to recoup its cost.

She further advised that the city should be a leader in encouraging more traffic on the main street.

Thomas’s motion stated that all future decisions concerning the building will be made with the intent of moving city hall to that location and the council unanimously agreed. The council will remodel the building as funds become available over the next few years.

Knowing the direction they are taking, the council members will be able to save money through planning. For instance, before closing in the building a new sewer line will be run and plumbing decisions for restrooms, etc., will be made before pouring concrete.

Thomas said she would like the building to contain public restrooms for visitors to town and contain a small visitor’s center and Chamber of Commerce office with tourist information.

Bret Frakes, project manager for Heinen Custom Operations, told the council that removal of debris and razing the old structure ran about $12,000 or $3,000 under the estimate.

HCO began constructing a roof last week that was expected to be completed by Friday. Mayor Charles Stutesman appointed Thomas and Mark Boyce to a committee to meet with HCO represent atives and be available during the reconstruction process when questions arise.

Frakes said the main floor of the two-story structure could not be salvaged because of extensive damage. HCO has hauled dirt to fill the basement and will level the ground floor with the street using a four-foot retaining wall in the rear.

Once remodeled, the building will meet ADA standards with no steps coming off the front sidewalk. Discussion of a second story was talked about and may be included in remodeling plans. Frakes said it would be an advantage to have space for storage.

Frakes said the company needed to know now if the city wanted doors and windows in the rear of the building. While they won’t be put in place for awhile, carpenters need to anticipate where they would go so the headers can be in place when remodeling begins. The mayor’s committee was scheduled to meet with HCO representatives later in the week and make those decisions.

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Posted by on Jan 17 2011. Filed under Government, Municipalities, The Vindicator, Valley Falls. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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