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Price tag falls on Sugar Hill's city hall complex

SUGAR HILL -- Cost of Sugar Hill's downtown city hall complex had risen some 20 percent to about $10 million, but a key structural change and mindful cost cutting recently trimmed its price tag.

Design of the bi-level parking deck's upper street level previously would have required costly fortification to withstand a trash truck. Instead, with the deck lowered slightly and the Dumpster relocated, the upper level will no longer require $40,000 of additional fortification.

City Manager Bob Hail said the change explained at Monday's monthly city council work session did more than eliminate additional cost to fortify the deck. With 19 parking stalls now at grade, they'll be atop underground utilities and potentially can become commercial out parcels should the city some day want that.

"That change was so small, but the possible benefits in the future were so great," Hail said. "It was just a smart thing to do."

Hail said a slimmer deck now designed to withstand only passenger vehicles will cost an estimated $40,000 less to waterproof as well. Those changes, combined with a decision to make the deck's brick veneer a roughly $120,000-cheaper stone-looking concrete, as well as trimming other aesthetics, saved the city $300,000, Hail said.

"We saved a lot by using suitable, like products, not brand-name products," he said of knocking roughly 3 percent off the complex's cost. "The quality of the building was not diminished in any way."

Also discussed at the work session was a resident's request that the city relocate one of its six weather warning sirens recently installed throughout Sugar Hill. The city agreed to relocate its north-most one from one end of Gary Pirkle Park's parking lot to another.