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Renovations at City Hall move close to completion
Rounded cement stands where crumbling cement stairs once contributed to the facade of City Hall. Lamp posts are the finishing touches for the outside of the building, City Administrator Phil Rath said. Renovations should be complete and staff moved back into the building in two weeks. (Times photo: Bridget Cooke)
MONROE - City Hall renovations are coming to an end, although officials are still uncertain when they will be allowed to leave their temporary placements scattered throughout the city and return to their permanent posts on 18th Street.

City Administrator Phil Rath noted that City Hall's outside renovations are nearly complete, with lamp posts still needed as the finishing touches. The facade has been revamped for safety with updates to the cement steps and additional metal banisters, including a ramp cover installed over the entrance to the Parks and Recreation Department.

The issue with flooring inside the building continues.

"My understanding is they're still working on the interior," Rath said.

However, the city plans to move the finance department back into Monroe City Hall as quickly as possible, even in a makeshift arrangement. Rath slated Monday as a tentative return date for that department, when plans indicate the first floor should be complete. Moving arrangements for the rest of administration are set for the following week.

"Tax collection should hopefully not be interrupted," Rath said.

Inside, the floors should now be asbestos-free. The stage used for Monroe Common Council proceedings was also removed and replaced as a flat space.

Rath said the microphones used by aldermen will be new, but plans for desks and chairs more easily rearranged for other proceedings were still being considered.

Assistant City Administrator Martin Shanks will be moved to the building inspection offices area because of his duties regarding community development, but Rath said "pretty much everything else should be in the same place."

Renovations on the floor to deal with cracking tiles and possible health risks to employees within the building due to asbestos began on Aug. 15.