Jessica Mathews /

Conceptual plans for future renovation phases at Howell City Hall was discussed by Council Monday night.

Renovations are currently underway at City Hall to combine the offices and departments on the 2nd and 3rd floors and move them to the first floor to improve accessibility and achieve efficiencies.

Simultaneously, staff has been working with architects on a plan to also move Council chambers up from the basement to the first floor. That would involve moving the Police Department from the first floor to the second floor, with some supplemental spaces in the basement.

A very outdated elevator is also utilized for Council meetings, various public meetings, and elections.

Conceptual plans were presented for future phases of the project.

Phase 2 would involve a second floor renovation to relocate the Police Department; and construct a covered exterior sidewalk at the east stairway exit and covered parking sports for patrol vehicles. Work would also involve replacing the elevator mechanics and controls.

Phase 3 would include a first floor renovation to convert the old Police Department space to new Council chambers.

Phase 4 would be the basement renovation of the old Council chambers into workout space and training rooms.

It would be a single-bid project for phases two through four. Phase 5 is optional and would include a Sibley Street pocket park at the southwest corner of the site.

City Manager Erv Suida stated they did a feasibility study on various options, and really want to get Council Chambers and voting precincts on the first floor. He noted they rely on the elevator for people that may have disabilities or other issues. If out goes out, notably during elections, he said there could be some consequences – especially with expanded voting changes. Suida said this plan moves the Police Department to the second floor and Chambers to the first floor but has other phases and improvements that don’t need to be done right away.

The estimated price tag for phases two and three was pegged between $2.3 and $2.3 (m) million.

Council members liked the concepts and flexibility in phases, and agreed there was a big need to get voting precincts on the first floor and fix the outdated elevator that’s relied upon a lot.

Council ultimately reached consensus to proceed and a proposal to design and bid the multi-phase project will be brought back for consideration.

Various renderings and more information are available in the meeting packet. That link is provided.