By ARTHUR CLEVELAND
PALATINE-Town officials are considering building a new Town Hall because they say the current building is too small.
The Town Council has given town attorney Robert Subik permission to draft a request for proposals for a Town Hall, which would be built in an empty lot located near the Town Barn.
"No decision on that has been firmly made, we're just exploring the possibility of a new building," Subik said.
If the proposal passes, town officials will proceed to hear bids from contractors to build the new town hall, Subik said, as an exploratory measure. No project has been approved yet.
The town's budget for the project is around $400,000 in a capital funds account, according to Subik, which can only be spent on construction or improvement to an area.
Subik said they would wait to see what kinds of bids they receive before deciding.
Another issue is the time frame, he said.
"We're getting a little late in the year," Subik said.
According to Subik, the main reason behind this push for a new Town Hall was the inadequacy of the current location, which is in an old post office.
"It's not of sufficient size to meet our needs," Subik said. "We have a serious problem now with the storage of records."
At the Town Hall's current site, located on 141 W. Grand St. in the village of Palatine Bridge, many of the town's records are being stored in a converted tractor trailer that has a roof which leaks. Space also has been an issue, with little office space available.
"There has been a desire, really for a couple of years, either to fix the storage problem or get into a different kind of building," Subik said. "In terms of space that the judge has for holding trials and things of this kind, it's really not adequate."
Councilwoman Michele Whiteman had said the idea of a new Town Hall has been discussed for several years. However, she said, it has been difficult.
"It's become a dark horse of a subject," Whiteman said.
According to Subik, the town already has a building fund established, setup just for this occurrence.
The building that may be constructed would be located next to the Town Barn, located at 817 Stone Arabia Road. The design of the building will be based off the Root Town?Hall.
"We obtained a copy of their plans when they built it several years ago," Subik said.
Subik is not sure how much the new town hall will cost.
"That is the big question, now, isn't it? We don't know for sure. That is why we are in the exploratory phrase right now," Subik said.
Subik also said he is unsure if the project will raise property taxes because that would be based on the cost of the project.
Whiteman said that as a taxpayer, she does not want to see her taxes rise, expecially when her constituents were having enough problems with taxes.
Subik has said that some town residents have come out in opposition to the plan, stating that they would rather partner their Town Hall with another town's.
"This would be a project for this year or a project for next spring," Subik said.
Supervisor Brian Sweet could not be reached for comment.
Arthur Cleveland is the Montgomery County Reporter. He can be reached at Montco@leaderherald.com