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City Hall moves

By Staff, 02/28/19 9:27 AM

PRESCOTT – When the Prescott City Council convenes for its March meeting, it will be in a new location.

Prescott’s administrative offices have been moved and are now housed in a section of the Hamilton-Blakely Senior Center. Prescott Mayor Terry Oliver said the first day of business in the new location was Feb. 25. There were several reasons for the move, he said, one being the former City Hall, built in 1939, was too small and had problems with the roof. Another was to help show the people of Prescott and Nevada County what the senior center has to offer, such as lunches for $5 for those under 60 and $3 for those 60 and older. In addition, the center’s walls are more soundproof and provide more privacy. 

Another reason for the move, he said, is the city learned it owned the senior center. The original thought, he added, was the county owned the building, but a check of the records proved otherwise.

One of the problems at the original City Hall was noise, especially when trains were running. Hearing what was being said during meetings was difficult when train horns were being used. This won’t be a problem at the new location. Also, there will be considerably more room for the public. Seating at the ’39 City Hall was limited to less than 20 people, but almost 100 can come to council meetings in the new location.

Oliver said City Hall will be “fixed up” and efforts will be made to get it put on the historic register. “We want to leave it looking good,” he said. “It will be available for future mayors (if they want to make use of it).” The roof will be repaired and carpets cleaned at City Hall. Most of the furniture has already been moved to the new site.

The pros and cons of moving were weighed, with the pros winning. However, the rooms at the center needed to be renovated to accommodate the city’s needs. Brad Karlovec was hired to do the work. Oliver said the renovations will cost less than $3,000.

The new location won’t be referred to as City Hall. Instead, Oliver said, it will be the Municipal Complex, with a sign to be made the same size as the lettering for the senior center and installed later on. The new location has a separate entrance from the senior center so people can pay their bills without disturbing the center’s business. There are offices for the business staff, the business manager, electric operations supervisor and mayor.

According to Oliver, the center shuts down at 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday and isn’t open Fridays, so meetings will have to be scheduled accordingly. Plans are to install a drop box where people can pay their electric and water bill without having to go inside. A handicap ramp will also be installed to comply with the ADA.

One of the best things is there’s plenty of parking in both the front and back of the building. This will make it easier for the public to attend meetings without having to park blocks away.

In talking about the senior center, Oliver said it still has its meals on wheels program and delivers food to those who are unable to come to the center. It will continue offering entertainment to its clients as well as providing them with a place they can socialize and avoid the extreme heat and cold. He added, city hall won’t interfere with the center, and the center won’t interfere with city hall.

In the event this move doesn’t work out, Oliver said the city has other options, aside from the old City Hall, one being the old Presbyterian Church where the Youth Center is located.