Brooklyn Park Moves Closer to City Hall Makeover
It’s a project more than four years in the making. Now it’s about to happen. The city of Brooklyn Park will move forward with a makeover of city hall.
The Brooklyn Park City Council voted 6-1 this week to approve a $4 million contract with St. Cloud-based BCI Construction. The total cost of the project is $5.6 million.
Brooklyn Park City Hall was built in 1991. City officials say it now has “many deficiencies.” Among them: officials mentioned security concerns, heating issues and a lack of public meeting space. As part of the makeover, the city council chambers and other areas of the building will be remodeled with bullet resistant material.
Makeover Includes Relocating DMV
Another issue is the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) service inside the building where long lines tend to jam up the front hallway. The plans include relocating the DMV to improve lobby and waiting space.
But the DMV part of the project did raise a cost concern. One council member wondered why the city was footing the entire bill when many non-Brooklyn Park residents use the facility.
“We’re actually serving a function for the county. So that the county’s offices to do this work, they’re not overburdened with people because they can come to Brooklyn Park and do it, which means that Brooklyn Park residents are subsidizing this feature for Hennepin County,” said Brooklyn Park City Council member Mark Mata, who was the lone no vote against the bid contract.
According to Dan Ruiz, Brooklyn Park’s operations and maintenance director, the city did reach out to government agency partners to help fund the DMV relocation, but the city was told no.
The city council also approved spending $120,000 for heated sidewalks in front of city hall. Officials felt it would be a good idea due to Minnesota’s winters and for aesthetic reasons.
The construction is slated to begin in September. Work will last through 2020.