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Outgoing officials: Keep working on city hall

SOLON– Don’t give up.
Outgoing elected officials shared that advice last week as they discussed last month’s failed city hall bond issue.
It was a short agenda and a short meeting for the Solon City Council Wednesday night (Dec. 7). On tap was a general discussion of the Nov. 8 election results during which the $1.35 million bond issue for the purchase of the Brosh Chapel and Community Center was rejected by two-thirds of voters.
Mayor Rick Jedlicka and council member Sue Ballantyne, both ending their terms, offered encouragement to the remaining council members.
Ballantyne felt the community wasn’t voting against a city hall in general, but against this particular project.
“I do think you need to continue searching for the right location and the right project,” she said. “I heard a whole list of different places that people would like the city to look at.” Topping the list was the “candy store” property at 100 W. Main St., which the city did consider as a city hall site.
Surprisingly, she said, the price was an issue with some people. “But I also heard people say, for the same amount of money if we could renovate one of these problem buildings downtown, they would have voted for it.”
The city had proposed the purchase of 100 S. Cedar St. (the Brosh facility) as an ideal location for a new city hall/community center, and asked permission through the bond issue to borrow the $1.3 million price tag, in addition to bonding fees and some minor moving expenses.
The upstairs of the facility would have been converted to use as city offices and council chambers, while the lower level would’ve operated as a community room.
“Most importantly for all of you who will continue to be involved, don’t let this momentum that we have go away,” urged Jedlicka. “There is a buzz still in the community about why we did it, the need, the location.”
Some residents said a new city hall wasn’t needed, he acknowledged, while he also heard support for a larger recreation component.
“Although we probably won’t see it on the agenda soon, I don’t want you to just to say ‘well that was our one shot.’”