Letter: Proposals are all inferior
November 15, 2014
Proposals are all inferior
The report of the committee evaluating proposals for the old power plant building indicates that all have serious deficiencies and fall well short of the ambitious goal set by council. While there is sure to be a lot of advocacy coming from the proposers, there is no need to rush to judgment given the questions that have been fairly raised by the committee.
Rather than commit now to any long-term sub-standard project (involving a potentially very expensive renovation and subsidies), the City Council should resist the pressure to choose and simply reject all of the proposals. It has reserved to itself the right to seek another direction different from any proposal. The city is better served by council taking its time and re-evaluating a more appropriate future use of the structure.
It may well be that the best and most cost-effective use is to renovate the facility as a new executive office building for council with improved meeting space, thus allowing the present city hall building to be likewise renovated for city departments. That would save the taxpayers at least the cost ($300,000 to 600,000) of a commercial kitchen and could by consolidation save in rents now paid for commercial space.
Neil B. Siegel