Eau Claire City Hall

Eau Claire City Hall

Final touches to restore the historic interior of Eau Claire’s City Hall and some exterior work will cost $508,630, according to bid documents going to the City Council for approval.

The contracts on Tuesday afternoon’s council agenda are part of the building renovation project that has a total construction budget of $5.3 million, according to city engineer David Solberg.

“All of these came in at what the budget was estimated at,” he said, adding that an available contingency fund hasn’t yet been tapped for the project.

Thorough renovation of the old building began last summer and was slated to take about a year. The project is on schedule, Solberg said, which will allow city offices to go from their temporary home at 2020 Prairie Lane back to City Hall, 203 S. Farwell St., by Labor Day.

While the majority of the interior work was bid last summer, the city waited to secure bids for some items until finding out what condition certain materials — woodwork, terrazzo and marble — were in after being covered up for decades.

“They had to wait and get in there to do the demolition to see what floors remained and what didn’t,” Solberg said.

The bid package the council is set to vote on this week includes wood, marble and terrazzo flooring restoration, counters and cabinets, some metal roofing and wall panels, pavers and landscaping.

The renovation project is updating wiring, plumbing and ventilation systems in the building, but also restoring architectural grandeur that had been covered up by carpeting, drop ceilings and other changes made during the late 1970s.

Offices inside the building will be rearranged as well, so those that get used most by the public will be closest to a new, primary entrance that leads directly to the parking lot.

Eau Claire’s City Hall is composed of a former public library built in 1903, a city hall built in 1916 and a connecting building constructed in the late 1970s.

Other Business

The City Council also will consider these items this week:

• A proposed downtown senior living complex dubbed Wilson Square will be subject to a Monday night public hearing before seeking a Tuesday council vote on its rezoning request. The project’s contractors also want to use one block of Emery Street bordering Wilson Park, which is just south of the proposed senior housing, as a staging ground for construction equipment and materials for up to a year.

• Plans for a veterans tribute trail planned for city land off Forest Street by a community garden will be subject to a Monday night hearing before the council votes on it Tuesday.

• The council will decide if two pieces of city-owned land — the downtown Railroad Street parking lot along the Eau Claire River and vacant property around Fire Station No. 10, 820 Malden Ave. — is no longer needed for public use and could be sold for private development.

• About 3.8 acres of vacant wooded land off Folsom Street may be purchased by the city for use as a future neighborhood park serving Eau Claire’s upper west side.

• A Mexican restaurant appears likely to replace a defunct downtown Eau Claire sandwich shop. Silly Serrano Mexican Restaurant has applied for a beer and wine license for 329 Riverfront Terrace, which was home to Smiling Moose Deli until it closed in July.

• Akame Sushi is applying for a beer and wine license for 4056 Commonwealth Ave., which had previously been home to a Mancino’s Grinders & Pizza eatery.

• Festival Foods is looking to establish online grocery ordering and curbside pickup at its 3007 Mall Drive and 2615 N. Clairemont Ave. locations. The Onalaska-based grocery chain applied for amendments to its alcohol licenses to allow curbside pickup at those stores, but did not request the same for its third Eau Claire store, 2717 Birch St.

• Special assessment policies specific to residential corner lots could be changed so those homeowners will only have to pay for sidewalk repairs along one side of their property, not both.

• The state Department of Natural Resources is offering Eau Claire a $5,000 grant to help with ongoing efforts to manage the urban deer and Canada goose populations. The city would be expected to contribute $11,500, which includes in-kind staff time, to receive the grant.

• Following Tuesday’s regular meeting will be a work session where the council will discuss opportunities to improve hospitality in the council chambers with the renovation of City Hall.

Contact: 715-833-9204, andrew.dowd@ecpc.com, @ADowd_LT on Twitter