HUDSON — The Common Council voted Tuesday to both pursue a bond for Americans with Disabilities Act renovations of the existing City Hall and to accept a donation from the Galvan Foundation to pursue a study of making 400 State St. a new city hall.

The bond resolution passed unanimously and the Galvan study resolution passed 5-4.

The Galvan Initiatives Foundation is offering the city $100,000 to study the feasibility of adapting 400 State St., the former Hudson Area Library, to create a new and accessible city hall. If the city deems it suitable, the foundation will donate the building along with $1.4 million to be used for renovations.

The city is not obligated to pursue renovations or accept the building for a new city hall by accepting the $100,000 donation for the feasibility study.

The bond resolution approves the pursuit of a $475,000 bond to make the first floor of the existing Warren Street City Hall ADA-accessible.

Pursuing authorization of the bond would not be a waste of money if the city pursues 400 State St., Common Council President Thomas DePietro said.

Public Works Commissioner Peter Bujanow said the improvements will increase the value of the building and address its accessibility issues in the meantime. If the city decides to pursue 400 State St. as a new city hall, 520 Warren St. can be sold at a higher value.

The city agreed on a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in October 2019, which includes making the public building accessible. While the bond will address accessibility on just the first floor, all city services will have to be made available.

“All of these improvements would be returned in value should the building go up for sale in the future, so in my opinion, it’s a good investment, it complies with the DOJ settlement agreement and it moves us forward and it gets people of all types and abilities into the building,” Bujanow told the council.

DePietro said taking on both projects shows the Department of Justice the city is dealing with its immediate accessibility needs while looking at a potential use of a future existing building.

Minority Leader and 1st Ward Alderwoman Rebecca Wolff, 1st Ward Alderwoman Jane Trombley, Majority Leader and 2nd Ward Alderwoman Tiffany Garriga, 4th Ward Alderman Malachi Walker and DePietro voted in favor of accepting the donation to pursue the study. Second Ward Alderman Dewan Sarowar, 3rd Ward Alderman Shershah Mizan, 4th Ward Alderman John Rosenthal and 5th Ward Alderman Dominic Merante voted against the measure.

Rosenthal, who has been outspoken against pursuing the study of 400 State St., calling it a waste of money, said the vote was unbelievable.

Third Ward Alderman Calvin Lewis recused himself from the vote because he works for the foundation.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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