COTTONWOOD - Cottonwood's City Council is about to get serious about replacing its existing city hall. City Manager Doug Bartosh has discussed a new central facility from time to time, but the council Tuesday will have a direct discussion about such a development.
The council included $500,000 in the new budget if the city needed to make a quick decision on the purchase of a building or land.
The city had been eyeing the Rough Cuts building at 10th and Main, built as an athletic center. That structure was completed, but not furnished and has remained unused through the recession.
In a memo to the council, Bartosh said the owner has indicated the facility will be built out as a spa, making it unavailable for purchase.
Bartosh is now asking the council for input for a preferred location for the city's face to the public. Current options to build a new structure include the field behind the current city hall on Main, now used for farmer's market festivals and other public events.
Other options include the property owned by Joe Nackard on Main at Sixth Street, site of the former historic Strahan house.
The city also owns a property at Sixth and SR 89A, where public recycling containers were recently moved.
Cottonwood offices presently occupy a number of former Old Town commercial buildings, a bank and a post office in which town government is run.
In his memo, Bartosh says those buildings were never designed as a city hall and are in unacceptable condition. He cites a recent environmental test that found mold in the walls and high levels of bacteria in the flooring. The air conditioning systems are "old and antiquated and are energy-inefficient both winter and summer."
The city recently abandoned one of the Main Street buildings, plagued with mold, to move its municipal court into a modern building remodeled from its former use as a carpet retail store.
The Planning Department moved out of another Main Street building when Cottonwood remodeled a former lumber retail store and yard as its home for water and wastewater utilities and Planning and Zoning.