Ridgeley officials finally have clear plan for new town hall

Mineral Daily News-Tribune
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By Ronda Wertman

Tribune Correspondent

RIDGELEY -- Meeting with officials from the Region 8 Planning and Development Council, members of the Ridgeley town council now have a clear plan on how to proceed with constructing their new town hall and garage.

In recent years, the town has worked to save for a new building and talked to builders and architects, but putting all the pieces in place finally came together as the council met with Region 8 director Terry Lively and project specialist Angie Curl.

“We’re trying to get a new town hall and we want the basics all the way through,” said mayor Mark Jones.

Lively explained that under Chapter 5 of the state code, the process traditionally begins with advertising and choosing an architect by interviewing three firms.

“We can provide you with a score sheet,” he said if the town needs help in choosing among qualified candidates.

Lively noted that Region 8 can advertise on behalf of the town, with the town paying for the legal ad, if the council decided to proceed.

“We’ll put a fee on it up front and we’ll look for grants. We’re not going to put a pinch on the town,” said Lively of the assistance available through Region 8.

“Grant money for municipal buildings is one of the hardest things to find,” he said.

Given that the town is not planning to borrow money or seek grants for the construction, this process can be streamlined as an architect can be contracted without the need for the legal ad and formal process.

“You should have someone put a bid package together for you if you are going to do this on you own,” suggested Curl.

In the next step, the council will sit down with the architect to develop a plan to meet the town’s needs and then these specifications will be the basis for getting bids so that everyone is bidding on the same thing.

If the town establishes a building commission, additional funds for the project could be borrowed, if needed, during the construction process for the structure to house the town office, commission meeting room, public works and police department and adjacent garage on the site of the former Ridgeley School.