Dayton Sets Deadline for Second City Building Option
The City of Dayton has been on the hunt for a new city building and last year set its sights on a corner lot at Sixth Avenue and Berry Street.
But last week, a second option emerged.
Not a lot is known publicly yet about this mysterious second site.
"It's an organization. They have expressed interest," said Mayor Ben Baker, presiding over his second meeting since being elected last fall. "It's a matter of going through the proper channels and procedures."
But just as the first site on Berry Street triggered debate, so, too, has the second option.
Council member Denny Lynn said that the organization has had time to put its proposal together. He made a motion to set a deadline on consideration of the second site.
"If we don't hear nothing back by our next meeting, we should move forward with our present plans we were looking at," he said. He was joined in supporting the motion by council members Joe Neary, Tammy Cornett, and Bill Burns. Council members Scott Beseler and Jeff Volter opposed the deadline.
Dayton city council will meet again on March 5.
Design firm KZF is working on plans for the original site and City Administrator Michael Giffen said that the firm would be open to a meeting to discuss the second site. "We will have to bring it back (to council) for approval to do some sort of cost analysis," Giffen said.
"We want to make sure we have both, if not more, options available to the public so everyone can see what's on the table," Baker said.
The mayor added that there is no immediate need for a city building. The current building on Sixth Avenue is so small that city council now meets at the board of education building.
"I'd hate to make a $7 million decision based on a month or two," Baker said.
"There's never been a $7 million figure that I've heard," Councilman Burns said.
"$6.5 million. It was in the packet you read," Baker said.
"6.5 is different than 7," Burns replied.
Councilman Beseler argued that there is not enough money available currently to move forward with the current plans for the Berry Street site, so why not wait? "Why do we need to rush anything about the project?," he asked.
"From my perspective, there are quite a few other priorities that are going to cost money," Councilman Volter said. "We've got to do something with salaries, we've got to. And long-term, that raises our costs annually. We have to keep our professional people on board. The pension issue is still out there. I'm not sure how much that is going to cost us, but it's going to cost us. I just want us all to keep those kinds of things in mind."
Without new information from the second property option, the city may move forward with a public hearing with KZF's information on the first site at Berry Street.
Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher