April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Council to consider moving ahead with new town hall research

By HSJ Online [email protected]

The Hope Town Council will be considering tonight whether to move ahead with the next steps toward a possible new town hall.

Last week, Hope's town hall committee met and is recommending the council approve the search for an architect to perform a feasibility study and a way to fund the study itself, said Tim Shoaf, the committee president. Although there is no estimate yet on how much such a study would cost, Shoaf said the hope is that the federal government would provide a low-interest loan for the work.

The feasibility study would determine whether it is even possible for the town to develop a new town hall, likely on property the town owns at the site of the current town hall and an adjoining open space.

Trena Carter, the town's grant adviser with Administrative Resources Association, said the town would be able to use a quality-based selection process for an architect, meaning the town could choose the best-qualified applicant rather than relying on the lowest cost bidder.

"In order to access USDA funds, which is one of the potential funding sources for this type of project, is a preliminary architectural report that includes a myriad of different things," Carter said. "It includes the project's site... They have a quantifiable specific format that this report needs to be in."

Carter said she has no idea yet on how much a feasibility study will cost because she has not yet been involved in procuring one for a project.

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