Chelsea takes steps toward city hall

With construction crews expecting to break ground within the month, a new Chelsea City Hall could be complete in as early as one year, according to Mayor Earl Niven.

The Chelsea City Council passed a resolution recently

giving Niven authorization to seek a bond which could exceed $4.5 million.

The borrowed money will finance the construction of the new city hall as well as a new water line along U.S. Highway 280.

Niven said just under $2 million will be used to fund construction of the two-story, 15,000 square-foot building with the remaining balance allotted for the water line project.

Chelsea city officials have used the second floor of the First National Bank on Highway 280 as a temporary city hall for about three years.

The city’s first municipal building will be located at the intersection of County roads 39 and 47 in the old downtown area of Chelsea.

The new building will provide more space for currently crowded city officials including an expanded library and police sub-station.

It will also house the city council chambers, Chelsea Planning Department and other administrative offices.

Niven said the building was designed for &uot;expansion capabilities&uot; and should provide many years of service before being filled to capacity.

&uot;The added space will be welcome,&uot; he said.

The city contracted the Turner-Batson architect firm during the planning stages, which began more than a year ago.

Richardson Construction Company Inc. was selected to begin construction of the city hall pending the approval of the bond from Joe Jolly & Company Inc.

&uot;We’re finalizing the bond issue,&uot; Niven said. &uot;Once that’s finalized we’ll give them the go-ahead to begin building.

&uot;This is something we could be proud of,&uot; Niven said. &uot;I’m excited. It will allow us to provide a more efficient service for the citizens of Chelsea.&uot;

Some $2.5 million remaining from the bond will be used to build a main water line along a three-mile stretch on the south side of U.S. Highway 280 East.

The City Council also passed a resolution allowing Niven to enter into an agreement with the Westover Water Authority.

&uot;The agreement is that Chelsea will put the line in,&uot; Niven said. &uot;There will be a tap-on fee of $1,000 that will be returned to the city of Chelsea.&uot;

Niven said the fee will be collected each time someone connects to the line until the city is reimbursed for its installation.

Municipal Consultants Inc. was the firm selected for the civil engineering services.

Niven said the water line will contribute to the city’s growth, attracting future businesses to the area.

&uot;It will have a major impact,&uot; Niven said. &uot;It will allow commercial development down 280 and will add to the tax base.&uot;

The water line and the new city hall are just two of the latest developments of Chelsea, which was incorporated in 1996 and has since been promoted from a &uot;township&uot; to a &uot;city&uot; designation.

Niven said plans are also in the works for expansion of the Chelsea Recreational Park, the development of a new senior center and the construction of more than 2,000 new homes by developer Eddleman-Thornton