This building kitty corner from the Allegan Post Office is the site Allegan wants to renovate for its new city hall. (File photo)

Allegan council approves city hall designer, builder

Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

The City of Allegan moved forward with plans for a new city hall during the Monday, Aug. 13, council meeting by approving a contract with Progressive AE of Grand Rapids for design services in the amount of $95,000 and an estimated $198,000 to serve as the builder for the project.

Four firms had been interviewed for the renovation project of the Allegan Professional Building (the old Sackett building) at 231 Trowbridge Street. City hall will be moving there from its Locust Street location after purchasing the building for $275,000.

At the end of the meeting, city manager Joel Dye said there was no need to cancel a special meeting on Tuesday to consider a resolution to put to a vote the $2 million in building authority bonds for the project. That’s because no petitions were delivered to the city by Monday’s referendum deadline.

Had a petition been presented, plans for Progressive AE’s contract would have been taken off Monday’s agenda, said city manager Joel Dye. Tuesday was the deadline for ballot proposals.

The petition for an elector vote needed to be signed by 10 percent of the registered electors in the city, which would have come to 400 signatures. Local resident John Watts was generating a petition saying the building authority would give the city an open check book for the project. He generated only 100 signatures.

Had a petition been presented with 400 signatures, the building authority bond lease would not have gone into effect unless approved by a majority of voters.

Progressive AE was authorized to move forward with the city hall project this week, contacting stakeholders and developing a project schedule for September. The $198,000 contract as the builder was based on a percentage of the estimated $1.3 million building renovation project.

Dye said by contracting Progressive to be both the architect and builder, the process would be faster and enhance efficiencies.

“They’ve been with us from day one, walking through the project,” he said.

Altogether, the bonding scenario is $5.6 million for upcoming construction projects, which includes $2.1 million in building authority bonds for a new city hall, new riverfront storage and restrooms and improvements to the Regent Theatre and Griswold Auditorium; $1.5 million in Michigan Transportation bonds for road construction; and $2 million in limited tax general obligation Capital Improvement Plan bonds for water and sewer projects.

While the annual debt payment had dropped to about $650,000 in 2017, by borrowing, the city’s annual debt payments will go from $1.7 million in 2018 to nearly $2 million in 2019 and taper down to $1.8 million through 2024.

The fund balances will total $4.3 million in both 2017 and 2018 and drop to about $3.6 million in 2019 and 2020. The balance is estimated to be back to $4 million in 2021.

New faces

Delora Andrus was appointed as the new council member taking the vacated seat of Stacie Stotmeister. Andrus will serve the appointment until the next regular city election in 2019. She was sworn in on Friday, Aug. 10.

Some of Andrus’ involvement in the community has included serving on the Allegan Area Chamber of Commerce board, the Allegan DDA, as an ARC board member and a Jaycee member.

Chris Tapper was introduced by finance director Tracy Stull as the new municipal accountant for utilities. Tapper is the former clerk of the Village of Paw Paw. He has 11 years experience in municipal accounting.

Virginia Ransbottom can be contacted at or at (269) 673-5534.


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