Pallone: No new city hall planned

Long Branch — Mayor John Pallone and the City Council have made a decision not to build a new city hall, and instead will repair the roof and continue various improvements to the building.

At an August council meeting, following news that the leaking roof would need to be repaired, some officials asked if it was time to look at a new city hall altogther. Pallone said the economics don’t work.

“We simply cannot afford a new city hall, and want to make it clear to residents that’s not happening,” said the mayor. “We are proceeding with an evaluation of the current roof with plans to fix and repair the problem. At the same time, since coming into office, we have made several steps to beautify City Hall both inside and out.”

The leaking roof remedy will start with an evaluation and design work which will cost the City $45,000, all out of a capital budget. This evaluation will likely call for a new roof. Officials say that, like the replacement of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system which was done two years ago, repairs like these are necessary for the update and maintenance of this building which was built in the 1970s.

Beautification projects have been in the works at city hall since the new administration took over. Flowers, landscape, and maintenance of the outside of City Hall has been a large focus. The second floor of City Hall also has artwork spread out from the council room, small conference room, and lobby area. All of the art work is historical and most pieces come with a story or explanation of its relationship to Long Branch. Visitors are encouraged to see the many new historical art displays.

The Mayor and Council are also looking at what can be done to improve access for residents who visit city hall as well as other municipal offices including the building and development department, economic and community development department and the court offices.