UPDATE Tuesdy 5/8/12–Councilors passed the expenditure on a 4-2 vote. Councilors TJ Thomson and Ben Quintana stood up against staff and four of their colleagues to cast the no votes. Thomson noted it was hard to justify the expense in the face of the current budget crunch. The GUARDIAN was asked by one wag if the council chambers would now have thrones.
Couched as a routine budget transfer of funds, the Boise City Council will be asked Tuesday to pony up $1.3 million of tax money for what amounts to a three room upgrade–the council chambers area. It will be an INCREASE to the code upgrade previously approved.
Like most things “on sale,” the upgrade will actually save $200,000. Right!
Here is how it is presented in the Council work agenda:
Public Works (Capital Fund) – City Hall Building 1, 3rd Floor Public Space Upgrades: $1,300,000 (one-time)
Public Works is requesting approval of a $1.3 million increase to the City Hall Code Upgrade capital project, funded by a transfer from the Capital Facilities Contingency. The additional funding will be used to improve the functionality and configuration of the public-use areas of Building 1, 3rd Floor, which have not received any significant enhancements since the building was constructed in the 1970s. Completing these enhancements now is advantageous because the 3rd floor is being significantly impacted by the current Code Upgrade project; the upgrade work can be incorporated into the overall project with minimal impact to the overall schedule. Postponing this work to a future date would result in a $200,000 increase to the overall project cost as well as increased inflationary costs. Improvements will be focused on the areas used by the public when participating in government activities, including the Council Chambers, lobby / reception area, Bonneville Room / City Council work space, as well as associated utility / storage areas. Staff has worked with the design team to develop a conceptual plan to resolve long- standing issues such as lobby noise / acoustics, limited flexibility, outdated audio-visual capabilities and inadequate Americans with Disabilities Act access.
The GUARDIAN reported in December that no local artist’s work made the final cut for inclusion in the new City Hall makeover.
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