BUZZ Blog: $750K for new windows at City Hall?Resolution to replace windows on the east and south sides of City Hall is likely on a slow track.
By: Peter Passi, Duluth News Tribune
Peter Passi and Brandon Stahl cover issues related to the city of Duluth. Follow BUZZ on Twitter.
$750K for new windows at City Hall?
Although it remains on the agenda, I wouldn't place any bets on councilors voting to pass a resolution approving the purchase of $750,000 of new windows for Duluth City Hall when they meet tonight.
Councilman Kerry Gauthier flagged the resolution and asked to have the item removed from the consent agenda at last Thursday's agenda session, voicing concern about spending that kind of money during a time of tight budgets.
Chief Administrative Officer Dave Montgomery indicated that the city is in no rush for council action, especially since staff determined the window replacement plans should be reviewed for historical appropriateness by the Duluth Heritage Preservation Commission before any work occurs.
City Hall's current windows date back to the early 1970s and "they leak like a sieve, for the most part," said Montgomery. He pointed out that recent work to the roof of City Hall resulted in significant energy savings and said installing new windows could likewise cut the building's heating bills.
When asked what the payback period would be for the windows, Montgomery said he wasn't certain but he thought that City Architect Terry Groshong had indicated the windows would likely pay for themselves in 12 to 14 years.
Montgomery also said the proposed replacement windows were more consistent with the original look of the building.
The low bid for the project -- $749.845 --came from Superior Glass Inc. of Superior. That's just for Phase I of the window-replacement project, addressing the east and south facades of the building. With two more sides to go, I'm guessing total project costs could approach $1.5 million, but I'll have to check w/ Groshong on that.
For you geeks out there. Here are the specs of the windows city admiinistration wants to install... They have a wood interior and an aluminum-clad exterior. They also feature a low-E coating, are filled with argon gas and boast a performance rated U-factor of 0.25 or less (whatever that means).
The city has paid a lot of lip service to becoming a more sustainable and green community. Do you support investing this kind of money in new windows?