The Fairway City Council at a special meeting this morning voted to approve a maximum construction cost of $900,400 for the renovation of the former Churchhill building on Belinder to become the new city hall.
Fairway has kept its administrative offices and city council chambers in a suite at the Fairway Office Center for the past nine years. But with the lease on that space set to expire at the end of this year, Fairway took action to purchase the building at 5240 Belinder, directly adjacent to the Fairway Police Department, this spring at a price of approximately $1.4 million.
The city issued temporary notes in April to cover part of the cost of the building purchase, but City Administrator Nathan Nogelmeier said Fairway is still discussion how much of the price of the purchase and renovation will be paid for with debt and how much with be paid for with cash balances. Fairway had funds carried over from 2016 to 2017 that it could use to cover some of the costs, and it also netted cash from the sale of its former public works facility.
“The city has some pretty good flexibility with finances right now, so the council is discussing how much debt we want to issue versus how much we pay for with cash,” Nogelmeier said.
Demolition of the interior of the Churchill building began this summer, and the city anticipates moving in to the new city hall facility by mid-December. The city will be keeping the majority of its furniture and audio-visual systems from the current location when it moves into the new space as a way to keep costs low.
Prior to relocating to the Fairway Office Center complex, the city had maintained its city hall operations in the building that now entirely houses the Fairway Police Department.