Members of the Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, will act on a Resolution, that if approved, would call for a bond measure to be placed on the Nov. 3rd General Election ballot. The City would ask its citizens to approve paying for the restoration of the historic ballroom/theater and the creation of a multi-purpose facility on the second and third floors of the City Hall building. The cost of the bond would not exceed $875,000, and would be paid for through Local Option Sales Tax (or, “LOST”) funds. The City Council meeting begins at 5:30-p.m., Wednesday.
Prior to a vote on approving the Resolution, Design Alliance Architect firm representative Jerry Purdy will make a presentation on the proposed project, which a Taskforce has been reviewing issues pertaining to, for the past six-months. Design Alliance has placed the cost of work for the project at $931, 097. The Council approved $100,000 during the last bond issuance, for the installation of an elevator that makes the second floor accessible. About $10,000 of those funds have been reserved to compensate Design Alliance for their services to the City. City officials say the remaining $90,000 can be credited to the project, bringing the needed funds to $841,097.
City Administrator John Lund says he requested the bond on the ballot measure be increased to $875,000, to cover any contingencies or unanticipated costs associated with work on the project, because contractors have warned him the building’s age may be concealing major problems that won’t be known until after work begins.
In other business, the Atlantic City Council will hold the first readings of Ordinances amending the City’s Code of Ordinances, with regard to “Fiscal Management and Accountability,” and “Provisions pertaining to Mayor and Council Compensation.” John Lund says the last time the Council’s compensation was considered was in 1994, with the Mayor’s salary having been adjusted 18-years ago.
The ordinance calls for the Council’s Annual Expense to increase $6,700, from the current $10,180, to $16,880 (compensation for attending Council and Committee meetings), and for the Mayor’s Annual Expense to increase $2,000, from the current $8,000, to $10,000. If the ordinance is adopted, the increases will not be immediate. Both the Council and Mayor must go through an election cycle before their compensation is effective. For the current Council, that would begin January 2016, and for the Mayor, 2018.