NEW FRANKLIN  A project that has been talked about and needed for some time is moving forward in New Franklin.

During the Jan. 2 council meeting, council awarded a contract to CCI Commercial Construction for the construction of a new storage garage for the Service Department. The city received several bids for the project and the lowest one from CCI Commercial Construction came in at $570,000.

Mayor Paul Adamson said the current building is in bad shape and it needs to be replaced.

“This has been a journey,” Adamson said. “We had hoped to have a building up by now.”

He said the bids came in much higher than the estimates. Adamson said the city took a step back to see if anything could be changed to scale down the cost some, but nothing could be changed to bring the cost down.

Adamson said he learned that steel prices have increased 15 percent and, if the city were to rebid the project, it would likely be even higher yet.

“We do have the money to do this project and remain debt free,” Adamson said.

Once the steel is ordered, construction will take about 120 days to complete. The hope is for the building to be completed by July.

In other business Jan. 2, council:

- Approved for Councilman David Stock to remain president of council and for Jim Cotts to remain the vice president for 2019.

- Approved the meeting days for council meetings, which will remain the first and third Wednesdays of each month throughout 2019.

- Approved to add an additional full-time dispatcher to the New Franklin Service Center. Adamson said having two dispatchers for all shifts is a new requirement from the state for the city to remain a primary center. The mayor said the state changed the requirements for communities to remain in compliance as a primary center as upgrades to equipment must be made along with additional staffing. The city explored partnering with Green, but that didn’t work out. Cotts posed the question if the city could use part-time staffers to make up the additional shifts needed for dispatchers and Adamson said there at not enough qualified people to do that. Adamson also said the city is working to update equipment, which will eventually be coming before council in the future.

- Approved a liquor license transfer from Howie’s on the Lake to Dano’s Lakeside Pub.

- Heard from Adamson about seven residents he has appointed to the Charter Review Commission.

- Announced there will be a representative from NOPEC talking about electric aggregation at the next council meeting.