July 12, 2024 Donate

Dexter, Dexter Government, Government

Dexter Township is Moving Ahead with More Improvements at Township Hall

Dexter Township is continuing its remodel of township hall after approving Phase 2 Town Hall Remodel Contracts at its last board meeting.

At its June 18 meeting, the Dexter Township Board approved a few contracts to do a range of work, including for bathroom upgrades, natural light doors and flooring, lighting, and amenities, furnishings, and external signage throughout the building.

In her report, Dexter Township Supervisor Karen Sikkenga said “As part of the FY2025 budget, the BOT approved $100K for a lower-level remodel. For the Fy25 remodel, we have decided to manage the project ourselves instead of going with a project manager to keep costs down and give us more control. The $100K provides sufficient funds to expand the scope of the project to include external signage and some additional amenities for upstairs as well. This project will make the town hall more usable in multiple ways including enhanced functionality and optimization, aesthetic improvements, and increased operational value.”

In November 2023, the Board of Trustees approved $156,000 for upgrades and furnishings for an upper-level building redesign. As part of the FY2025 budget, the board approved $100,000 for a lower-level remodel.

The Sun Times News followed up with Sikkenga.

“The Township remodel is part of a larger constellation of operational changes designed to improve services to Dexter Township residents,” Sikkenga said. “Our active board has intensified the use of the Town Hall with the creation of the Local Roads Committee, the Farmland & Open Space Preservation Committee, and public engagement events such as our coffee chats with trustees and the recent information session about renewable energy. We’re scheduling more homeowners’ association meetings at the Town Hall, providing training opportunities to residents such as CPR training, and engaging volunteers in elections, clean-up days, and plastic film recycling. All these activities take space.”

Meanwhile, Sikkenga said “thanks to a digitization initiative, the Town Hall walk-out lower level is open to new uses instead of entirely devoted to file storage.”

“The digitization effort helps residents by ensuring that complete records for each property are available in an instant – while also protecting our valuable historical records from flood and fire,” she said. “Digitization virtually doubles the space available in the Town Hall for township business.”

Phase One focused on the upper level, providing an overall facelift, improving locked elections storage, installing energy efficient lighting, and providing auditory enhancements in the board room to make it easier for attendees to hear the proceedings, Sikkenga said.

“The lower level remodel includes energy efficient lighting, upgrades to the antiquated bathrooms, and, most important for usability, provides furniture, including comfortable seating and modular worktables,” she said. “There will be a dedicated small conference room and an overflow office. Also in Phase Two is improved exterior signage, and improvements to our public notice capability with electronic bulletin boards.”

She said the lower level will be available to the Dexter Area Fire Department for much-needed training space, and will be used for public meetings, training, community events, overflow office space, staff and volunteer meeting and training space, and more.