Millville discusses town hall expansion

At the March 23 Millville Town Council workshop Greg Hastings, of G. A. Hastings & Associates presented to council, for their review, a 3-D rendering and quarter inch preliminaries of the proposed addition to town hall.

The addition will be designed to withstand 120 mile an hour winds, as an emergency shelter, to withstand “the storm.” Although the building will be attached to the existing building, it will be constructed as though it were a separate unit. The existing building could be blown away in a storm, while the addition would remain standing.

The addition will have concrete walls, trussed, a top plate ceiling, and everything will be anchored. A generator will be set up behind the addition, for emergency use. The building’s power source will be redirected, with power coming into the addition with subpanel feeds to the existing building.

Councilman Michael Jeffers asked Hastings if sheer wall construction would be more cost effective than concrete.

“The masonry will be more expensive, but if you want to assure this building will stand, masonry is the ticket,” Hastings explained. “Emergency management, hand radios, if you want assurances that this building is going to be here at the worst conditions, this is the way to go.”

Connecting the existing building to the proposed addition will be an exterior door that, when closed, it will essentially seal off the addition, making it a completely separate building, in case of a devastating storm.

Councilman Richard Thomas asked Hastings if the hall’s old septic tank, which had been filled with concrete and has a concrete pad, would affect construction. He also noted his concern about the soil at town hall and if it would impact construction. Hastings said a soil analysis would take place in order to ensure that the building will not have settling issues.

Due to cost, the two windows that had originally been planned for the conference room were removed from the design. Council requested an air-tight vestibule and a janitor’s closet.

The estimate for the addition is approximately $500,000 or 18.2 percent of the town’s restricted revenue.

Mayor Don Minyon asked that council give him comments or suggestions within the week for the addition, so that he may pass it on to Hastings.

Council reviewed ordinance 07-05, which does not allow businesses zoned C-1 to sell alcoholic beverages in restaurants located on Atlantic Avenue. A draft of Ordinance 10-07 was presented to council, which would allow C-1 zones to have a dining only service bar for alcoholic beverages.

A public hearing is set for April 13, at 7 p.m., with a possible vote to follow at the scheduled council meeting.

Council also discussed the possible collaboration with the towns of Ocean View, Bethany Beach and South Bethany to hire a Pittsburgh law firm to negotiate their 2013 Cable Franchise Renewal Services.

The firm renegotiated contracts for Dover, Wilmington and Newark. Council requested the cities be contacted and asked about their satisfaction with the firm.

The town of Millville had a 15-year agreement with Mediacom as well as 5 percent revenue from the company. The towns will be looking to negotiate a shorter contract term, a higher percentage and better customer service.

Minyon and Councilman Jon Subity questioned whether or not hiring a law firm is really necessary to renegotiate the cable contract. Town Administrator Debbie Botchie recommended that council look into the costs associated with the collaboration — however, she said that having the town negotiate a new contract is “just out of our realm.”

The council has no immediate plans to vote on the collaboration.