Port Townsend council approves bond issue for City Hall renovation

PORT TOWNSEND –Council members approved on Tuesday City Manager David Timmons’ request to issue at least $1.545 million in bonds to cover the cost of renovating historic City Hall.

The vote was 5-2 on the first reading of the ordinance to issue the bonds.

Dissenting votes came from Councilmen Frank Benskin and Geoff Masci.

The bonds would help pay the projected $6.7 million cost of restoring the historic 114-year-old red brick building at Water and Madison streets.

The City Council originally budgeted $4.75 million for the project’s initial work to build the annex on the west side of City Hall and for extensive fortification of City Hall.

Then the project bid from Bellingham-based Dawson Construction came in at $5.4 million, a difference of about $750,000.

Ultimately, $3.8 million was budgeted for City Hall and $2.6 million for the new annex.

But delays have caused about $280,000 in change orders, raising the bond financing required on the project to more than $1 million.

The figure approved by council members also will help pay for electrical and plumbing systems to be installed while the roof is removed, heating upgrades and fire protection that were originally scheduled for a later date.

The work will cost an additional $480,000, about $200,000 of that for restoration work.

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