Council votes 4-2 to renovate City Hall

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A $6.1 million renovation to Pearland City Hall moved forward Monday with the awarding of a construction contract to Construction Masters of Houston.

The move passed 4-2, with Council members Tony Carbone and Derrick Reed voting against. Both said they had issue with issuing debt to complete the work.

“At the end of the day, we’re spending over $6 million that the voters haven’t approved,” Carbone said.

Bids for the project came back higher than anticipated, City Manager Clay Pearson said. The project will require the issuing of $1 million in certificates of obligation.

With funds already spent on design, the rest of the council said the best option is to complete the project.

“This is a 30-year-old building,” Mayor Tom Reid said. “If we don’t take care of what we have today and do it right, we’ll have to come back at some point and build a new one.”

Renovations include adding security measures, including elevators, mechanical and HVAC replacements.

“We’ve also taken advantage of an opportunity to co-locate some offices, and create open public spaces as well as access control,” Pearson said.

The new design, he said, would be open for the public to complete needed transactions but would ensure safety of staff.

“If we make the decision to (upgrade) a facility, we need to do it right,” Councilman Trent Perez said.

Perez was among those concerned about security upgrades at the last meeting, at which action on the contract was tabled by council.

Councilman Greg Hill said the design around secure elevators reminded him of Sugar Land’s, which wasn’t a good thing.

“I’m glad to see we’re finally getting it done,” Councilman Keith Ordeneaux said. “It goes along the lines of what I’ve been preaching for a few years: Citizens have put a ton of money into infrastructure. If you don’t maintain them, it’s just going to cost more money.”

Story by Nicole Jones

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