Hanover favors plan for new public works facility

The Hanover City Council discussed a plan to move the public works space from city hall and into a new facility located on city-owned land at the industrial park.



The city council was in consensus that it would like to solve space needs for the public works department.

One plan involved leasing outside storage space, but council members instead favored relocation.

“The direction is let’s build a building that will be able to completely house the public works department,” administrative assistant Brian Hagen later said. He said that by moving out of city hall, the department could still use its existing space solely for storage needs.

The next step is to configure a 10,000- to 15,000-square-foot building on the city’s 2.5-acre parcel. Hanover asked the city of South Haven to share its plans for its new public works facility, as well as cost estimates.

“The timeline is sooner than later, possibly starting construction this year,” Hagen said.

But first the city will figure out costs and funding.

“Right now we’re figuring out what size we need and from there we’ll get estimates and how it will be paid for,” Hagen said.

He added that the city as set aside capital improvement plan funding in the budget.



In other news, the council was informed that the Hanover Athletic Association does not want to move forward with a lease of Settlers Park as had previously been proposed.

The association would rather have a maintenance agreement where the city would maintain ownership of the park. Settlers Park will be undergoing a significant improvement to the main ball field, making it an officially sized field that would attract softball and baseball tournaments.

Administrative assistant Hagen said one reason the association does not want to lease the field has to do with grant requirements, specifically that man grants require municipal ownership.

“A contract agreement would allow the association to maintain the field and fund improvements with the idea the city would apply for grants,” he said. “The goal is to get improvements squared away.”

For example, if the grant required a local funding match, the association would pay for it.



In other news, the council continued discussion regarding pavement management.

The city engineer provided a survey about funding through either a city levy increase (everyone pays) or project assessment (benefiting properties pay).

“What are the numbers going to look like and what process do we need to go through?” administrative assistant Hagen said. “Currently the projects are assessed to the benefiting property owners.”

Two council members were not present at this meeting, so the rest of the council opted to continue this discussion, most likely at the April 7 work session.