Thursday, March 5, 2020

Belleville council member criticizes poor conditions at city hall

Belleville City Council member Tom Fielder is tired of waiting.
During the council meeting last week, Fielder expressed his frustration with repair expenses to Belleville City Hall. Fielder said that the city hall building has appeared on the city council follow-up list since Dec. 15 of 2014 when an evaluation and appraisal was completed.
Fielder said that since that 2014 action, there has been nothing done at the building. He suggested the city sell the property the municipality owns at Five Points to a developer for a commercial venture and move city hall to a new location.

Recently-named City Manager Tracey Schultz Kobylarz told Fielder that determining the amount spent on repairs to the current city hall would not be difficult.
City Councilman Ken Voigt told the audience and other council members that said the police chief's office is badly deteriorating and that the squad room upstairs is in “shockingly bad shape.”
Fire Chief Brian Loranger suggested that as the property is owned by the city, the equity could be used to secure a loan to make repairs, or the building and property could be sold.
Schultz Kobylarz reminded the members of the city council that discussions of buying or selling real estate should be done in a closed meeting session with advice from an attorney.
“Let me reach out to legal counsel first,” Schultz Kobylarz said, adding that city officials could schedule a town hall meeting to determine how the public would react to a decision to sell the property or move city hall.