The Star-Herald

Reopening of City Hall still uncertain as first floor renovations near completion

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — After many delays, Presque Isle City Hall might be close to reopening to the public, though the exact date has yet to be determined.

City assessor Lewis Cousins, a member of the City Hall renovation committee, said that front counter staff are still providing services at The Forum, located at 84 Mechanic Stt. Other offices, including general assistance, the city clerk and tax assessing, will remain on the third floor for the time being.

“We don’t have a specific [reopening] date yet because we need to finish installing the sprinkler system and decorating offices,” Cousins said. 

Though first floor renovations were originally expected to be completed in mid-July, labor and material shortages caused by the pandemic brought about several unexpected delays. The first floor renovations have gotten three months behind schedule as a result.

Fortunately, all materials for the building’s second floor renovations have been arriving on schedule, Cousins said. Once the first floor is completed, contractors from Devoe Construction will begin work on the second floor, replacing ceiling and floor tiles, installing new windows and LED lights and repainting offices.

If no major delays occur, the second floor renovations could be finished by December, Cousins said.

Unlike front desk employees, all staff members working on the second floor will not relocate outside City Hall.

“We did not want the public accessing the building with construction happening on the first floor,” Cousins said, on why front desk services moved to The Forum.

When the public does walk into City Hall again, front desk employees will be available at their same locations, but with modern upgrades to their workspaces. The offices for General Assistance, Economic and Community Development, Code Enforcement and Tax Assessing will also be located on that floor.

Cousins expects that a reopening date for City Hall will be announced soon.

“We’re very pleased with how the project has unfolded and I think people will be pleased when they see the changes,” Cousins said.

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