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Carnegie building is a good fit for city hall

September 18, 2010

On Tuesday Marshalltown officially marked the newly-renovated city hall opening with a ribbon-cutting and tours. Located in the Carnegie building, our municipal building is now a reflection of Marshalltown's pride and history.

While the inside of the building is ultra-modern, the outside remains true to the building that has stood on that corner for more than a century. The homage the past, but the continual progression to the future, is something Marshalltown has always been about.

When the current public library outgrew the building and voters approved bonding for a new library building, the question quickly was posed about what to do with the old Carnegie building. Tearing it down was out of the question. The building has great historic value and is in very good shape overall for its age.

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The outside was preserved. However, the inside was completely renovated. The move allowed for sleek council chambers, expanded housing department offices, and a much more resident-friendly layout than the current city hall could provide.

The city council and administration also made sure they could do whatever possible to stretch local taxpayer dollars so that the renovation would not be as much of a burden on property taxes.

The price tag ended up being $1.37 million, but only $700,000 of that came from city-issued general obligation bonds. Federal and state portions made up approximately half of the final cost.

Further, because the project was timed correctly, even the issuance of the bonds did not cause the property tax levy for debt service to increase.

While the building was not free by any means, the financing was done in such as a way as to make it easier on the taxpayer.

In the end, that also speaks to the values the community has.



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