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The Government Services Center is an investment the City is making in downtown Bonner Springs to improve our facilities and the efficiency of our services to you. With this project, the 1918 Building will be renovated for an improved City Hall, Council Chamber, and Court room. Right across the drive, our Police Department will have a new, innovative building. The project is scheduled for completion by Fall 2020.
The groundbreaking took place during Tiblow Days 2019. A time capsule from 1963 was in the former City Hall building and was opened at this groundbreaking event. In it, we found letters, newspapers, school briefings, and mementos that residents and business owners from 56 years ago placed into the time capsule!
Now for a little background - Due to structural and environmental issues, the former Police Department on Nettleton and the former City Hall on East Second Street were vacated. The Police building was demolished, and their staff have been housed at the Fire/EMS Building on Metropolitan. The City Hall building was demolished sooner than planned with this project, and staff are currently housed at the Community Center. In April 2019, a previously repaired roof leak opened up again at the former City Hall flooding the electrical and technology panels as well as most offices. Due to the high cost to repair the roof in a building set to be demolished within a year, the building was instead vacated saving over $29,000 on the construction project. Replacing the roof on the former building would have cost at least two to three times that much which would have resulted in a cost increase for the project instead of a savings.
The City originally received the 1918 Building 34 years ago in 1985 with the intent to eventually renovate the building for City Hall. As the City has grown, the need for a larger City Hall facility became apparent. The structural and environmental issues at the former Police buildings and City Hall made the need to invest in the renovations more immediate. The location of the buildings were discussed at a community forum, and the decision to invest in downtown was the clear choice since the City already owned the building and the property. There was no need to purchase land which would have made valuable commercial property exempt from taxes, and therefore would have resulted in the City bringing in less annual property tax dollars which are so valuable to the services the City provides.
In order to maintain these beautiful new facilities and the others the City currently owns, the City has implemented a Capital Improvement Program and will be looking ahead several years to schedule and budget for preventative and necessary maintenance. These measures are very important to ensuring these buildings will be in great shape for decades to come.