Residents start to weigh options for Columbus Town Hall

COLUMBUS – Having passed a referendum last year to keep the former Columbus Town Hall in the hands of taxpayers, residents are still uncertain of the fate of the 210-year-old building.

Columbus Town officials called a public meeting Tuesday to hear options from The Chazen Companies, the engineering firm that was contracted by the town earlier this year to assess damages to the building located along State Route 80.

A report done by Chazen outlines a number of significant damages, including a deteriorating foundation, drainage issues that are damaging the foundation, poor insulating around the windows, deteriorating floor beams, and sagging on the east side wall that compromises the structure’s stability.

The report does not consider mechanical, electrical or plumbing issues.

The report concludes that the building is “in poor condition, and requires significant repairs in order to put the building back into service.” Engineers recommend upgrades to meet egress, fire, ADA and energy code guidelines; therefore, the township ought to consider the cost benefit of making repairs versus new construction.

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