At tonight’s Council meeting, the City Council will vote to extend the bond bill for the City Hall construction by at least one year.

Last week, our staff told us that the City could not meet the deadline to obligate the $400,000 bond money because the City wanted to explore the possibility of a City Hall project that would incorporate the University’s plans and / or property it would acquire on Baltimore Avenue, close to the current City Hall location.  According to our staff, the University’s acquisition of adjoining Baltimore Avenue frontage changed the possibilities for a new City Hall.

I am a little disappointed and surprised that the Council is asked to support an extension now, whereas, back in late November, a similar request for an extension did not receive a favorable response. An extension decision in November would have allowed the City to explore other options for City Hall locations, including the Stone Industrial site, which many north College Park residents favored.

Three College Park neighborhood Associations and several residents also asked the City Council to delay a Council vote on the new City Hall location to explore all possible locations fully. Unfortunately, the pending expiration of the bond bill was one of the reasons why staff recommended making a decision on the new location sooner than later. Some residents and at least one of my colleague also cited the expiration of the bond bill as the first and foremost reason for his disapproval of the Stone Industrial site.