Portage collects bids on City Hall renovation
By John Robbins Post-Tribune correspondent January 23, 2013 9:50PM
Updated: February 25, 2013 12:44PM
PORTAGE — Nine bids to renovate City Hall were submitted to the Portage Redevelopment Commission on Wednesday. The lowest was from Gough Inc. of Merrillville, with a base bid of $351,000. Gariup Construction submitted the next lowest base bid of $376,400. Precision Builders submitted the highest bid of $600,000.
The commission is taking the bids under advisement for study. The restoration project includes installing new windows and making the building handicapped accessible.
The commission agreed to pledge Fronius tax increment financing revenue toward repayment of a soon-to-be-issued $4.9 million economic development revenue bond that will be used to help Fronius acquire necessary equipment.
Fronius International is building a manufacturing and headquarters facility at Ameriplex to produce solar inverters.
Public Works Director A.J. Monroe recommended the commission hire Stutler Architects of Portage to design a new Street Department facility. Monroe expects the design work to cost about $125,000 and will take 60 to 90 days to complete. Monroe expects a ground breaking for the new facility to take place sometime during the summer.
Development Finance Adviser John Shepherd asked for, and received, authorization to proceed with a strategic financial plan, to be completed within two months and would look at commission finances over a five- to 10-year period and include a prioritization of projects.
Monroe said the planned phase out of some allocation areas over the next several years will impact commission revenue.
“It is important we fully understand the resources coming in,” said Monroe to determine how the commission will be able to support the city in the future.
Commission attorney Gregg Sobkowski told the commission that Calumet College has tentatively agreed to lease a classroom at the city’s University Center. Three classrooms remain available for lease.