In an effort to utilize vacant space and bring extra income to village coffers, Village Council on Monday authorized paying an architectural firm up to $4,457 to conduct a feasibility study and determine the best use of space.
Since transitioning police service to Ottawa County earlier this summer, the first floor has available space that was once occupied by the Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Department.
The second floor also has lease potential of several thousand square feet, according to village officials.
The village has hired Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr and Huber — the architect firm for the Village Hall remodeling project in 2002 — to conduct a feasibility study to determine what space can be leased out and how to configure it all.
When designs were being discussed for the remodeling project 12 years ago, it was always part of the plan to lease extra space, particularly an upstairs office on the west side of the building, but those plans never materialized.
Village President Jim MacLachlan joked about the extra space at last week's council work session, saying the manager's work space “is the size of the oval office.”
MacLachlan noted that only three people are using 7,000 square feet of space. Since village planner Kathy Staton retired a couple of years ago, the upstairs no longer has a full-time employee in the planning and zoning office.
“The reorganization and consolidation of the village staff and functions which has occurred over the last couple of years has resulted in some excess office space,” MacLachlan said. “… We also have excess clerical office space.”
The situation is similar downstairs in the former police department space. With the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department now providing police services in the village, less space is being used than had been by the former police department.
“We have an office for a chief, an office for a sergeant, an office for a detective, an interrogation room, an evidence room, and evidence booking room, an armory for weapons and body armor,” MacLachlan said. “Much of that space is not needed as the county sheriff's facilities will be used for many of those functions.”
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