Local Government

Canton Board of Aldermen still mulling options for City Hall changes

The Canton Board of Aldermen is looking at options for renovating City Hall to provide better public access to the municipal courtroom, now on the second floor. | H-W Photo/Edward Husar
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 19, 2019 12:01 am

CANTON, Mo. -- The Canton Board of Aldermen is still exploring how it should proceed with some proposed renovations to City Hall.

The board is studying several options, including the idea of installing an elevator to help make the two-story building comply with new operating standards for Missouri's municipal courts.?Another possibility calls for moving the Canton Police Department to the city's old railroad depot to make more space available in City Hall. A third proposal would involve buying the former Golden Ruler building to house the city's administrative offices along with the municipal courtroom, now located on the second floor of City Hall.

The board met in closed session during its monthly meeting this week to discuss the possible lease, purchase or sale of real estate, but no action was taken.

"We're still discussing real estate, so there's nothing I can comment on as of yet," Mayor Jarrod Phillips said in an interview.

"Everything is still on the table. We're just trying to figure out the most advantageous deal for our taxpayers with a facility that will suit us best for the next 20 to 30 years," he said. "We are getting closer."

Phillips said one of the board's biggest concerns involves how to pay for the City Hall changes.

Based on discussions at previous meetings, the cost could reach several hundred thousand dollars depending on how much additional property might have to be acquired, if any.

The board discussed various bond-refinancing options.

Phillips said city officials are considering taking advantage of today's low interest rates to refinance some bonds that are paying for improvements to Canton's water and wastewater systems.

Phillips said the city "may be able to realize some savings" by refinancing the bonds and might even be able to include some financing for the City Hall project.

In other action, the board approved several requests from Culver-Stockton College related to the college's Homecoming celebration Oct. 18-19.

One request, for example, was to allow the college to discharge fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18. Other requests involved closing the 300 block of Lewis Street on Oct. 18; closing a portion of Fourth Street Oct. 19 for the parade; and allowing people to park along the north side of Washington Street on Oct. 19.

The board also:

Discussed a request by the Tree Board to provide some funds for a tree-replacement program aimed at restoring the city's tree canopy.

Awarded a $21,395 contract to G Works, the low bidder, for a new financial management system. The contract also will require $2,455 in annual costs.

Approved the appointment of Vance Lasala to the Tourism Board.

Agreed to close several streets near Martin Park for the Relay for Life of Lewis County's annual event on Oct. 5.