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Three Firms Vie to Design New Dayton City Building

The City of Dayton is closer to having a new city building.

Design firms had until Monday to submit proposals and city council had planned to gather at a special meeting Tuesday night to review the submissions and their related scores.

That meeting was canceled, however, after the submissions were scored and it was clear, Giffen said, who the top three firms were. He told The River City News on Tuesday that the firms, in no particular order, were Cincinnati-based KZF Design, which is already doing some work on the city's riverfront, Lexington-based GRW, Inc., which is already working on a sidewalk project in the city, and Cincinnati-based Childress & Cunningham.

Giffen said that the city's request for qualifications garnered nine submissions overall, with three being tossed out for not meeting criteria, leaving the city with six from which to choose.

The city based its RFQ on the site at 6th and Berry Streets next to Veterans Memorial Park where some buildings were recently razed to make way for it. For the past several years, Dayton's city council meetings have taken place at the Dayton Board of Education building because of shrinking space at the current city building on Sixth Avenue.

At last week's city council meeting, the special meeting was requested because some members of council wanted to review all the submissions without basing the entire decision on just the scoring criteria.

“This is the most critical decision we will make in this project,” said Councilman Jeff Volter. “This firm and their lead will be the project manager for us.”

Instead of having the special meeting on Tuesday, the top three firms will be invited to present in January. That may take place at the regular council meeting on January 2, but Giffen said that a special meeting to deal with this would be more likely.

Meanwhile, other concerns were also raised over funding for the project.

“This whole process feels very rushed and I don’t want to be bullied into rubber-stamping a decision that we haven’t had public input on,” Councilman Joe Neary said, adding that the city has had to move money from the general fund to pay for ongoing projects this year.

Giffen countered Neary’s arguments though, saying that this is a project that has been in the works for over ten years.

“We do have the money,” Giffen said, defending that there is money in the budget to allow for the project. “You know and I know what we’ve done with that budget has been great. We’ve been adding money not losing money”

Once the city reviews presentations in January, they will move forward with choosing a firm and then go into negotiation for design and pricing of the new city building, and the council can accept or deny the firm’s bid as they see fit.

New police officer hired as code enforcer

Council also voted to change city ordinances to allow for the hiring of an additional police officer who will primarily be in charge of code enforcement in Dayton.

Some council members criticized the need to hire him as an officer if code enforcement was his duty, citing concerns that he would end up doing more police work.

Phil Lyles, who began working for the city on November 6 in the position, said that in his first month, he only wrote a few parking citations, but reassured council that his primary task is code enforcement.

Giffen said that the change in title will not cause a change to the city budget, except for the additional $7,500 for police pension contribution. This caused council members Volter and Neary to vote against the position change, but a majority approved it.

Written by Carrie Crotzer and Michael Monks