The five options range in estimated costs from just over $1 million to over $6 million. Exact costs will be determined once a specific option is elected:
- Options one and two involve freeing up space on the second floor (where one courtroom already exists) to accommodate a second. These were presented as the least costly options by Mallin (approximately $1 million), but may not satisfy the state’s requirements for space, square footage, etc.
- Option three was characterized by Mallin as the “Big Sky” option, involving an addition to City Hall, with a structure that would extend over Maple Avenue, and would more than accommodate space requirements for the new courtroom and allow for other department’s expansion. The price tag is estimated at over $6 million, however. This was by far the most expensive option presented.
- Option four would involve moving Public Safety Department offices from the second floor to a portion of the third floor – which is the site of the Saratoga Music Hall. This was estimated to cost approximately $2 million.
- Option five would involve moving the existing courtroom on the second floor to the third, and constructing an additional courtroom on the third floor – taking over the entire floor including the Music Hall space. The existing courtroom (on the second floor) might become an expanded city council room, but the room has historic significance and the integrity of it would largely be maintained. This was estimated at approximately $3 million.
The Council discussed the various options. Option five was presented to many on the council for the first time, and any new option must be approved by the state. There is currently a deadline of May 2 for final plan approval from the state, which perhaps could be extended. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the City Council is on Tuesday, May 3, so there is a chance that there will need to be a special Council meeting before that, to decide and vote on this issue. Eventually, the city’s capital budget will have to be modified and financing put in place once an option is selected and approved.
In other Council news:
- The Council went into executive session regarding Pending Litigation: Anderson Group vs. City of Saratoga Springs. After the session it was announced that no decision was made at this time.
- Mayor Joanne Yepsen announced four appointments: Steve Sullivan was named to the Saratoga Springs Housing Authority; Daniel T. Pickett III was appointed to the Saratoga Springs City Center Authority. Both were approved unanimously. The Mayor made two appointments (no vote was necessary) to her Business Advisory Council: Ellen Brody and Mike Hoffman.