The town of Dolores Board of Trustees has unanimously voted to purchase a building at 601 Central Ave. for the new home of Town Hall.
On Sept. 26, the board approved a cash purchase of $379,900 for the building, owned by Montezuma Realty Group LLC.
Town Manager Ken Charles said the owner’s group has agreed to the sale price, and the purchase is pending a building inspection. A closing date is set for Oct. 31.
The current Town Hall will be torn down, and the land will become part of Flanders Park.
The town had planned to apply for a grant to cover half the costs for the Town Hall location.
But a grant award would not be known until December, and there was uncertainty on a lease-purchase deal.
“We decided to buy it out of our reserves. We talked to our auditor, and he said we could do it,” Charles said.
The town has a reserve fund of $1.7 million, according to the 2022 budget.
An analysis in August showed the current Town Hall was becoming a money pit, Charles said. A recent budget hearing showed it required a minimum of $350,000 in repairs and upgrades.
“It is at the end of its useful life, and was never designed for office space,” Charles said.
The new Town Hall is more modern, and is better suited for government offices, he said. It will have a larger board meeting room, improved space for the Sheriff’s Office and has enough room for future growth.
The new building was built in 1960 and completely remodeled in 2017 by Southwest Health System in anticipation of a clinic and doctors offices. But the plan was dropped, and SHS sold the building.
Remodeling costs for the new building are budgeted at $120,000 and the demolition of the old building is estimated to cost $100,000. The new location will include the Sheriff’s Office. The solar panel system on current town hall will also be moved over.
The town plans to apply for a DOLA grant to cover the remodel and demolition costs, and the purchase of the new building to count as the grant match, Charles said.
The town plans to complete the remodel and move in to the new Town Hall by spring or summer of next year. The plan is to have old one will be torn down by next year, Charles said.
A town plaza with benches and a gazebo will be built in its place.
There were no objectors at a public hearing for the Town Hall relocation plan.
Town officials have heard support for the idea for years. The current Town Hall obstructs valley views, and of businesses on Central Avenue. It takes up a lot of space in the small park used for many events.
“It will open up downtown, and enhance the beauty of the valley,” said resident Shirley Powell during public comment.
Coincidentally, Town Hall will return to its previous location on Central Avenue, according to historic maps.
The building sold for $295,000 in 2017 and for $274,000 in 2019, according to the Montezuma County Assessor’s Office.