By Amy Kent
Herald Staff Writer
CAMANCHE — Out with the old and in with the new is how the city of Camanche approached 2013.
Camanche city officials ended the year with the hard work and headaches of the reconstruction of Washington Boulevard behind them after spending approximately $3.5 million on the project only to begin the city’s next major renovation project — replacing city hall.
Discussion on finding a new city hall or renovating the current one began in April, while line painting and resurfacing the boulevard were wrapping up and now, nearly eight months later, the city is finally moving forward with a plan for city hall.
Both the Washington Boulevard project and city hall project have had their fair share of naysayers and grievances between council members, but because of the city’s commitment to honor a list of goals it had set at the beginning of the year, both projects moved along through all of the rough patches.
Because the Washington Boulevard subject caused so many comments from citizens, it gave the council more of a reason to look into renovating city hall.
Several council members reflected on meetings about Washington Boulevard that were heavily attended by residents that many of them were forced to stand just so they could fit into the small council chambers at Camanche City Hall.
It is in part because of those days that Mayor Ken Fahlbeck suggested the council chambers at the new city hall location, purchased in November, have the capacity for 50 people, unlike the current on that houses approximately 40.
As the discussions continue, plans are being tweaked and changed, and city officials are beginning to show excitement toward a new city hall they can be proud of.
As for Washington Boulevard, construction may be completed, but the project could linger on in the future because of a discrepancy between the construction company and the city over a missed pay application for more than $26,000.
City leaders feel it is not their responsibility to rectify a mistake that was made by the construction company, and the company feels they did the work and therefore should be paid.
If the two cannot come to a settlement soon, the city could face a lawsuit that would end up costing them more than the $26,000 and would drag an already more than three year project on even longer.