These days it is difficult to decide which metaphor best describes Port Washington North Mayor Bob Weitzner. The two that jump to mind, an expectant father, or a child anticipating a trip to Disneyworld can both work. In less than a month the village hall will move from a cramped, inefficient space of approximately 900-square-feet where it has been for 10 years to a sparkling new headquarters at 3 Pleasant Ave.
During a tour of the newly renovated space, Weitzner burst with enthusiasm and delight at the prospect of the new headquarters for the village government. His anticipation was palpable as he described the amenities, comforts, technology and additional work space of the new offices.
“The new village hall will provide a better working environment for village employees and a better feel for our residents,” says Weitzner.
The landlord will provide a new parking lot which will yield approximately 20 additional spaces.
The official opening for Port North Village Hall will be May 1 and the first trustees meeting at the new location will be April 8 at 7:30 p.m.
At 2,000-square-feet the new site is more than double the current office. The village used the expertise of its building inspector Bob Burbach, who is an architect, to design the space and every detail has been accounted for beginning with a welcoming entrance, a large open work area for the village clerk and deputy clerk and an interactive touch screen kiosk where residents can print forms and look for local amenities and services.
There is a separate office for the building department which will offer privacy and facilitate meetings for residents seeking permits and approvals from the village.
There is a room for filing cabinets which measures eight feet by 18 feet, a conference room and best of all a board room which can seat 50 people comfortably; a big improvement over the current space in the Delco Plaza Shopping Center village hall that is wedged between a nail salon and pet store and only accommodates about 15 people in a room lined with unsightly filing cabinets.
In the board room, which will do double duty as Village Court, the floor inclines upward so that the presiding judge and trustees are slightly elevated. A large TV screen will be wall mounted and the lights are on dimmers to accommodate presentations. New windows have been added to make this a light filled room.
The entire building is ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant and boasts three bathrooms. All the lighting is LED. Spotlights have been installed to highlight artwork which will be added in the future and there are plenty of closets for storage.
The rent for all this extra space including utilities is just $4,000 per month, which is well within the village budget.
Another $30,000 has been allocated for renovations, carpeting and the addition of new furniture. The cost of the construction and furniture will be spread over the next five years. The village has a $500,000 village hall contingency fund and no outstanding bonds. Earlier in the year Weitzner said that the village will not rely on raising taxes or dipping into contingency funds to finance the renovations or the increase in rent.
As with any move there are a great many details to deal with, such as notification to residents, utilities, signage and purchasing stationary which provides an opportunity to redesign the village logo. Another challenge the mayor has embraced wholeheartedly.
One thing about the move bothered the mayor. Since the village is sharing the building with another tenant, Total Dollar, it looked as though they would also have to share an address. Village Clerk Palma Torrisi and Deputy Clerk Linda Kroacek saved the day by researching the history of the building on Pleasant Avenue and discovering that there is in fact a second address for the location. So Port North Village Hall will be the only tenant with the address of 3 Pleasant Ave.
No suite number needed.