Phalen Steel to design new Marseilles city hall, police station renovations

Renovations could start by late spring

The Illinois Valley Cellular building is being eyed by the city of Marseilles to become the next City Hall and police department.

Infrastructure was the main topic of conversation at the Marseilles City Council meeting Wednesday.

The council approved the proposal from Phalen Steel of Mendota to prepare design plans for the old Illinois Valley Cellular building, bought by the city two months ago to house City Hall and the police station.

The cost of the plans was set at $59,500.

At the time of the long-debated purchase, made Nov. 16 for $1.35 million, there was mention that another $950,000 had been earmarked for the renovations, a major part of which would be making it compliant with the needs of the police department.

“I am very happy to have Phalen Steel involved in this,” Marseilles Mayor Jim Hollenbeck said. “They were the original architect and contractors when it was first put up 20 years ago, so I feel their price to design all the plans for the renovation of it is very reasonable.

“We’re fortunate because they have all of the original plans for the building on file there, where someone else would be starting from scratch.

“Once we get the plans and the council approves them, I’m certainly hoping that they will actually bid on the project as well. We’ll have to see what the future brings, but we’re glad to be up and moving on this project.”

Hollenbeck said the council has completed several walk-throughs with Phalen in its role as the original contractor.

He said he expects that after rough sketches are made, the company will meet with the council and Police Chief Brian Faber to gain approval or make necessary changes.

Ideally, the mayor said, the renovations will start in the spring and the building will be ready to occupy in the fall.

In other action, the council also heard a report that the work done by Renaissance Roofing of Belvidere on the library’s new roof is complete and the scaffolding removed. Only the tuck-pointing of the outer walls is left to be worked on this spring as weather permits.

Also, the council authorized City Clerk Leslie Hart to advertise bids for the Broadway Park Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Grant project on Jan. 30.

Bids are due by Feb. 13, and the bid will be awarded by the council at its Feb. 24 meeting.

Each member of the council individually took turns commending the city’s public works department for an “outstanding job” of keeping the streets clear during the recent snowstorms, noting that they heard many positive comments from residents and business owners alike.