Wednesday, August 15, 2001

New City Hall on way

Deer Park weighs $1.6M replacement from general fund

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DEER PARK- City officials are leaning toward a new $1.6 million City Hall to replace the 65-year-old municipal relic at 4250 Matsen Ave. that features crowded quarters and window fans.

        And it can be done without added cost to residents and businesses, said Deer Park Mayor Dave Collins.

        “We have been looking at this for about a year and right now we are looking at three options,” Mr. Collins said.

        “We had considered renovating the old building at a cost of $700,000 or fixing part of it and keeping some of its historic sections. But now I think we are convinced to go with a new building.”

        The old City Hall, built in 1936, also lacks access for the handicapped.

        “We haven't been able to hold mayor's court nor City Council meetings in the municipal building for several years,” said Councilwoman Sandra Hall.

        Mayor's court and council meetings are conducted in the Deer Park Community Center, 7640 Plainfield Road in Chamberlain Park.

        Some additions were made to the old City Hall in 1949 and 1959, but the council chambers are crowded in a second-floor room, just beyond winding stairs.

        “It is not very suitable to hold public meetings,” Mr. Collins said.

        The city is considering the new municipal building at a time when its finances are stable.

        Safety director Dave O'Leary said the money for the building will come from the city's general fund.

        “I am excited about the new building, because after 23 years with the city I didn't think I would see it,” Mr. O'Leary said.

        After Deer Park entered into a joint fire district with Silverton, the two cities and a fire district board split the cost of buying a new building for the district.

        Each agreed to pay $420,000.

        Deer Park's last payment of $140,000 is due next year.

        “This means we will have that money from our general fund to use toward the new building,” Mr. Collins said. “We will probably take out a 20-year loan.”

        He said the new municipal building will likely be built on the same site.

        “We also have space for expanding because the city owns a two-family apartment complex on the west side of City Hall,” Mr. Collins said.


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