by Lisa Tome
Only a few years after the last renovation, the second floor of Rising Sun's town hall has gotten another makeover.
Town administrator Calvin Bonenberger said the new look is designed to make way for an expected increase in building permits due to the town's infrastructure upgrades. He also said the changes will allow the police department to eventually have the whole first floor of the building.
Bonenberger said the renovations included moving his office to the other side of the second floor. The second floor, which is key coded to prevent access to most of the space, now has a conference room, permit and utility billing office, and an office for the elected body. Bonenberger's office was flip flopped from the east side of the building to the west side.
The renovation is still underway. Bonenberger said the work is being done by a contractor and cost $8,000. That contractor, MJG Services, Inc. wasn't hired publicly. This issue wasn't brought up in any public meeting. Mayor Marion said the renovations were discussed previously. He said he doesn't know when construction started or the cost because he was in Texas.
"Most of the work was demo what was already here. Two new interior walls were constructed and all windows, doors, and shutter doors were already in place but were reused. Exit signs and lighting were all reused as well," said Bonenberger. "The fire sprinkler system had been redone two years ago and reconfigured with this type of renovation in mind so no work was needed on the system."
About three years ago, while mayor Travis Marion was out of town, the second floor of town hall was renovated and the mayor lost his office space. The mayor was recently away for work training for six weeks. Mayor Marion said the new lay out is a better use of space.
Bonenberger said the police department is growing, despite the fact that they have fewer officers than they have had in the past. "We're discussing increasing the police department (size) and giving them the first floor. We are getting away from officers being alone at night. The chief and I are working on that internally to see if we can do it," said Bonenberger, who has repeatedly stated that this year's budget will be tight because no tax hike was implemented and assessments were lowered. "Permits will be moving to the second floor that will be by June," said Bonenberger.