Make a list, check it over and over again

Make a list, check it over and over again Richard Braunstein, chairman of the Vermillion City Hall Advisory Committee, leads discussion among the 40 citizens who attended an input meeting Tuesday night. by David Lias A group of Vermillion citizens took a walk in the shoes of the Vermillion City Hall Advisory Committee at a public meeting this week.

They discovered just how hard the committee has been working since it was formed last March.

And, they learned why the committee made a special effort to get the public involved in its meeting Tuesday night in the William J.Radigan Fire Hall.

There is still much to do.

"What we are about here tonight is to try to identify your ideas for a city hall location for the future of Vermillion,"

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Richard Braunstein, chairman of the advisory committee, said. "We've got a list through past efforts of the city, through some ideas of committee members and from folks who have proposed ideas, of 12 sites right now."

Those sites include:


* the northwest corner of the intersection of Clark and Crawford streets.


* the southeast corner of the intersection of Clark and Crawford streets.


* the current city hall.


* the intersection of Cottage and Duke streets.


* the former trailer court located at 14 W. Cherry Street.


* the area located near the intersection of Main and Washington streets.


* the area bordered by Washington, National and Cedar streets near the courthouse.


* the southwest corner of Cherry and Crawford streets.


* the northeast corner of Main and High streets, where Fullerton Lumber is located.


* 15 East Main Street � the Community First Bank building.


* the west side of Center Street across from city hall (site of The Livery).


* expansion of the Clay County Courthouse.

The main purpose of Tuesday's meeting, Braunstein said, was to expand upon that list.

Citizens suggested these additional site options:


* the Carnegie Library building in conjunction with the present city hall.


* across the street from the Austin-Whittemore House.


* North Princeton Street, near the site of the proposed Wal-Mart.


* Norbeck and Main streets, near Hansen Funeral Home.

The committee's next step in future meetings will be to rate each site using a specific set of criteria.

"The (criteria) list has been developed by the committee with the help of a consultant and some input from some public meetings that we've had," Braunstein said. "We've been engaged in a conversation about the criteria we should use to evaluate each site for some time now."

Each site will be rated on the following:


* ability to meet space needs requirements.


* visibility � good visual access.


* image and aesthetics.


* on-site parking requirements.


* size/shape/topography.


* anticipated building costs.


* accessibility.


* utility infrastructure, including water, sewer, storm sewer, gas, electric and fiber optics.


* development costs.


* appropriate zoning available.

The committee plans to use these criteria to reduce the number of proposed sites down to "short list" Braunstein said, that is more manageable.

"And then we are going to solicit as much input on short list as possible," he said, "including a detailed assessment by our consultant of building costs."

The committee will use objective criteria, feedback from the public and its own deliberations to eventually come to a decision on city hall.

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