Garland Proposes $3 Million Face-Lift for City Hall

Business owners, residents say price tag is too high

By Tammy Mutasa
|  Tuesday, Mar 13, 2012  |  Updated 7:01 PM CDT
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Officials voted to upgrade the building to bring more people to the downtown area.

Tammy Mutasa, Garland/Mesquite Reporter

Officials voted to upgrade the building to bring more people to the downtown area.

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Garland officials want to renovate City Hall, but some residents and business owners say the city should spend the money elsewhere.

City officials want to spend $3 million on a face-lift for the building to keep up with the modern times and attract people and investors to the city.

"We think it's a great wise investment and we are excited to go forward with this project," Mayor Ronald E. Jones said.

Officials voted to renovate the building as part of the second phase of a downtown redevelopment plan along Fifth Street to bring more people and investors to the area.

"It is a lot of money," Jones said. "And the cost of construction, the cost of material [and] the cost of labor has all increased and to do it right and perfect and what the citizens would expect, as a wise investment will cost about $3 million."

The City Hall is about 40 years old. The city said it is more cost-effective to renovate the building and make it more energy-efficient that get a new one.

Cheri Stigler, who owns Paw Paw's Sweet Shop in downtown, said she knows the area needs work.

"We need to make downtown more inviting and return to be the heartbeat of the city that it should be," she said.

But she said $3 million is a lot of money to spend on one building.

But for one building...

"It's a public-use building that we're going to use regardless of what it looks like," she said. "I just don't think spending that kind of money is going to change whether or not people come to downtown Garland."

Resident Alice Aguilar said she would rather the city spend the money on infrastructure such as roads or public safety.

"There's plenty of things that need to be done prior to spending that kind of money," she said.

The proposed renovation calls for a parking garage and an apartment complex expansion.

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