Council hears needs for town hall

Maiden Town Council moved one step closer in the planning process for a new town hall, hearing a presentation Feb. 21 about possible space needs for the building.

Marty Beal, with CBSA Architects, gave Town Council a space-needs analysis presentation detailing size needs for a new town hall and council chambers. Beal completed the analysis in January after meeting with town employees and hearing what council members envisioned for new town facilities.

Beal determined that a new town hall needs to be 11,167 square feet to meet requirements for storage, office space and other spacial needs.

The estimate could include a drive-thru window for customers to make utility payments, new council chambers inside the town hall building, as well as a Cash Points ATM for citizens.

"Of course, nothing is set in stone at this point," said Maiden Town Manager Todd Herms. "We will have to take a long, hard look at cost and funding options. I believe that, while council wants to build something that will meet our needs and something that our citizens would be proud of, the No. 1 goal is to stay within our financial limitations."

Currently, council meets at the Maiden Branch library, where space is sometimes constrained when large groups attend the council's bimonthly meetings.

Council took no actions on the analysis at the Feb. 21 meeting, and council members have yet to vote on whether to proceed with the construction project.

Beal's presentation to council didn't include any plans or blueprints. Those will come later, if council deems the project feasible.

To make that decision, Maiden's council and staff must determine ways to finance the project.

"The next step is for staff to come back to council with options on how to fund (the construction project), including different time frames," Herms said. "At that point, council would need to develop a time frame for this project to begin. We want to make sure we have all the bases covered before moving forward with this project."

Council members spoke with Beal in January about what they envisioned in a new town hall. Some members requested a projection screen to display meeting agendas for the public, while others asked for movable seating arrangements and extra storage space.

Maiden Mayor Bob Smyre has insisted from the start that, if the town were to construct a new facility, the building needs to have the future in mind.

"I think that's the mindset of me, and I think that's the mindset of the council," Smyre said Thursday. "If we're going to build it, we need to build it for the future."

Herms agreed. He said any constructed facilities need to last and accommodate the town's needs for the next 50 years, if not longer.

The current town hall was built in 1921. Fire claimed the building's first two floors in 1962, and the town hall was remodeled in 1962.

"I think (Beal's) presentation definitely had our needs in mind," Smyre said. "I think he did a great job. I think it's almost identical to what I was thinking of."