Perryville discusses town hall plans
— With work on a new police headquarters already underway, the mayor and commissioners are now turning their attention to what they would like to see in a new town hall building.
Construction for the police department has begun, with plans to have the $2.8 million building on Otsego Street ready by this time next year. At the Tuesday night work session, town administrator Denise Breder asked the board for its thoughts on several key components of the new town administration building. The needs assessment came at the request of architects from Wilmington, Del.-based Fearn Clendaniel.
“It comes down to ‘needs, wants and wishes,’” Mayor Jim Eberhardt said.
Breder gave the board a list of suggestions for consideration, including whether a community center should be part of the floor plan and whether the building should have a second floor.
“We have a little ability to expand,” Breder said of the proposed 5,500-square-foot structure. “If we go up, we’ll need an elevator.”
The board also discussed whether to move the Police Outreach Program into the new building and whether to include an office for the mayor, a shared area for the commissioners, public access restrooms and a public meeting room in the new building.
“I’m against the community center,” said Commissioner Ray Ryan, saying he thought the maintenance and operation of a facility was beyond the current complement of town employees.
Commissioner Alan Fox agreed, saying such a facility should be elsewhere. Fox also wanted more information before deciding on the expansion proposal.
“I want to see a cost differential between the cost of the first floor and the second floor,” he said.
Commissioner Robert Ashby said if the board is even looking at a future expansion, some work would need to be done during the initial construction.
“You have to put in the footers to anticipate the second floor,” Ashby said.
The lone voice in favor of the community center was Commissioner Michelle Linkey, who also liked the idea of the second floor for town hall and of a conference room for commissioners to meet with people.
“I don’t think the commissioners need a specific area,” Linkey said, while also urging the board to add a dedicated room with environmental controls for the town’s computer network. “We need a server room just for that ... and a central area for the printing.”
Taking a cue from the town of North East, the board is also considering making public restrooms in the building available from outside the building.
Representatives from Fearn Clendaniel will hold a series of meetings with the board and town staff to get an idea of what type of work space is needed for each department.
With the replacement of Perryville town hall in the near future, the mayor and commissioners recently discussed what the 5,500-square-foot structure should include.