Council faces daunting price tag to renovate Niles City Hall

NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – Niles City Council learned Wednesday evening that repairing city hall will cost $445,000. Since the city remains in fiscal emergency, council wanted to know what other options there are.

Warren architect Bruce Sekanick gave council the price tag to repair the building’s roof and interior.

The main problem with city hall is the roof, as most of it needs replaced. Roof replacement alone is $295,000. The worst section is over the 89-year-old administration building.

“You know when you’re up there, you feel like you’re in a bounce house, you really do, when you’re walking on it,” Sekanick said. “There are other areas of the roof where you can see the ponding water has probably never dried out.”

Councilman Ryan McNaughton pointed out what $445,000 breaks down to each month.

“I would like to see if we can start looking at Plan B that would cost less than $1,854 a month in the short-term, whether it’s renting or using what we have,” he said.

Before council commits to spending the money on the renovation, it wondered if city hall could be moved into the wellness center on Sharkey Drive.

Councilwoman Linda Marchese said the wellness center could become a Niles community center.

“I don’t feel it would be feasible to put all this money into it when we do have a wellness center that’s all one floor.”

Mayor Tom Scarnecchia asked about the issue with black mold in city hall. Sekanick couldn’t make any guarantees that all the mold could be removed.

He also couldn’t promise that the wellness center could be used for anything else because there may be deed restrictions.

Council eventually agreed to seek bids on repairing city hall and, through President Bob Marino, asked Sekanick to look into the possibility of relocating to the wellness center and demolishing city hall.

Sekanick told council that renovating the wellness center into a city hall could cost as much $980,000. He also said that if they decide to repair the current building, they should act soon so the roof can be done before winter.

Also during Wednesday’s Niles City Council meeting, acting Police Chief Jay Holland passed around body cameras. Council approved buying 30 of them for $19,600 to replace the city’s aging dash cameras.

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