GENEVA — The City Hall renovation project, with bids that came in $600,000 to $700,000 above estimates, is expected to be scaled back.
The renovation, approved by Council as a capital project in the 2017 budget, included making City Hall ADA compliant for all three floors with the installation of a modern elevator. It also included rehabilitated City Council meeting rooms, an ADA-compliant second-floor bathroom and back parking lot improvements.
However, faced with additional debt coming as part of the city’s share of several Downtown Revitalization Initiative-funded road and streetscape improvements, Council is looking at scaling back the project to include what it considers the most important component: a new elevator.
More improvements could be considered, but according to a draft resolution, the project will be capped at the original cost estimate of $1.5 million.
City Clerk Doris Myers said the resolution may be tweaked before Council votes on it.
Meanwhile, city administration also is expected to attempt for a second time to secure a $300,000 state grant targeting ADA projects to help pay for the elevator.
While the first floor of City Hall is accessible to people in wheelchairs, the other floors are not. The existing elevator cannot accommodate people in wheelchairs.
“The reason for the (new) elevator would be to access all three floors,” said City Comptroller Adam Blowers.
Council meetings were moved to the city’s Public Safety Building about 20 years ago because of accessibility issues. The general feeling, though, was that at some point the meetings would move back to City Hall, home base for Geneva’s government.
The renovation was to make that happen, and it would also ensure that residents and employees would have full access to all floors of City Hall.
However, given higher bond payments that will be coming with DRI street improvements — including traffic-calming and pedestrian-crossing improvements for Routes 5&20 downtown — councilors agreed they could not support spending more money on the renovations. At least not at this time.
Councilor Gordy Eddington, who pushed for the renovations at Council’s June 6 meeting, said after the Wednesday work session that he was on board with scaling back the project. Eddington had suggested at the meeting last week that bids were about $46,000 over but explained after the work session Wednesday evening that he did not have complete information on some of the additional costs associated with the project.
Blowers said Friday that if Council approves changing the project’s scope, new bids will be needed.
The city received two bids for the general construction contract. Massa Construction of Geneva was the low bidder, with a base bid estimate of nearly $1.25 million, almost half of the $2.21 million bid by Testa Construction of Rochester.
However, when the bids for electric, plumbing and HVAC are added in — and factoring the cost of new furnishings as well — the project cost goes up roughly $700,000 above the original $1.5 million estimate.