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Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Committee wants to fix up historic city hall

Celina council members favor repairing building

By William Kincaid

Celina City Hall, constructed in 1890, most likely will get some needed repairs. . .

Constructed in 1890, Celina City Hall needs some repairs to correct its crumbling bricks and sandstone, say city officials.
Celina City Council's building and grounds committee on Wednesday night made a recommendation that city council members approve masonry repairs, a chemical cleaning and an application of water repellent sealer to the building.
According to an estimate from Trisco Systems, Lima, the project would cost around $39,500. If approved, however, the city would need to bid the project out. State law requires all projects exceeding $25,000 to include sealed bids.
"This needs to be fixed before we get into another winter season," Safety Service Director Jeff Hazel said. "We do need to do this work."
The work would be done only on city hall and not the connected fire department.
"We're fortunate to have a historical building like that," Celina Fire Chief Doug Kuhn said.
But the use of such a building requires financing for necessary maintenance, he added.
The work in question is supposed to be conducted every 10 years, but the city last contracted it out in 1994, Kuhn said.
Kuhn presented a slide show to council members that showed layers of sandstone peeling away, broken bricks and deteriorating city hall letters - all of which would be corrected if the proposed work is approved by council members on Monday night during the regular meeting.
"That just really doesn't hold up that well," Hazel said about the sandstone.
Mortar joints need repaired while sandstone at 50 locations requires patching, refacing and stabilization. Also, four sandstone units at the main entrance need replaced, while grinding and caulk work is required throughout, he said.
Hazel said the building's outside bricks have a hard exterior but a soft inside. Water repellent is crucial for their preservation, he said.
"Why are we looking at this?" councilman June Scott asked. "This is kind of a no-brainer."
If approved, the project will be paid through $25,000 budgeted for city hall miscellaneous funds and up to $20,000 from the city's contingency fund.
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