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Committee gives positive nod to have City Hall appraised

A Harrisburg-area firm has submitted a request with a flat-fee of $5,000 to appraise Williamsport City Hall, which remains condemned due to structural issues.

Don Paul Shearer Associates of Harrisburg-Camp Hill area has submitted a proposal to do the work over the next two months, provided City Council approves the measure.

Just before the vote by Council’s finance committee on Tuesday, councilman Randall J. Allison asked about the scope of work, specifically where it notes the research necessary to develop a credible opinion of value.

“What would the research encompass, such as the cost of materials at the present time, or if they would get that deep into it?” Allison asked.

Sander said he can ask them to either be in person or online.

Councilwoman Liz Miele, committee chair, said it might be helpful for them to be part of a discussion about the building, the city’s history with the building and what the city is anticipating with the appraisal.

Miele also asked whether eight weeks was a standard amount of time for such an appraisal.

Sander said it would take that long given the complexity of the assignment and not many building’s comparable to City Hall in the area.

The funding for this is coming from $230,000 in city hall operating funds in the budget line item. It is $500 more than a prior appraisal firm offer.

City Hall has remained condemned since last September after sustaining heavy water damage last July through a leaking roof and later in December through leaking pipes.

Another firm backed out of a similar motion two weeks ago.

The new motion for hiring Don Paul Shearer Associates was passed on to the full body of council with a positive recommendation.

Bandshell final design

Gannett Fleming of State College wants to complete the final design for preparation of bidding by construction firms for restoration and improvement of the Brandon Park bandshell.

The proposed fee is $47,400 and would be funded through the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, with no city money put into the final design, Sander said.

Cost estimate is for construction, materials and labor at present, also the project cost estimate at the end of final design and full bidding services when it is ready to put out to contractors.

Allison noted it covered the humidity control and an analysis of what would work but there is no design because council would need to approve that and it would be an added cost if the city would go with that.

Final opinion on the final budget contains caveats as far as the initial opinion and there may be changes in the project scope or the market conditions, supply and demand and inflation.

Whatever the proposal is — as a final probable budget we should probably add some contingency to that number because expectations are different now.

The motion was passed to the full body of council with positive recommendation.

Two other motions were passed onto the full body of council with positive recommendations.

One was to spend about $650 on new microphones for council, so speech is heard clearly and the other is for a franchise agreement between the city and Comcast of Southeast LLC.

The city receives 5% of fees charged to individuals with cable television service, not internet.

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