MW council approves funding agreement for building rehabilitation

Mineral Wells moved a step closer in the Women’s Club/former U.S. Post Office building rehabilitation project after approving a funding agreement Tuesday night.

Mineral Wells moved a step closer in the Women’s Club/former U.S. Post Office building rehabilitation project after approving a funding agreement Tuesday night.

The council previously approved the submission of an application for a Planning Grant for the building, at 201 NE 2nd St., which is a total of $45,000 split equally between the city of Mineral Wells and the Texas Historical Commission.

“To get that building in what would be top-notch condition is probably a several hundred thousand dollar project ultimately for the construction and you can figure design services are going to cost you 10-12%, so if you do the math you’re looking at $80,000 and up to actually completely generate a set of plans and that by no means is to say the $45,000 is not effective,” Mineral Wells City Manager Randy Criswell said. “We will actually expend this money and what we’ll end up with, minimum, is a true defined scope of the work. So by the time this $45,000 is expended, we’ll actually have bonafide architectural plans of how that building would be renovated and you can’t go from where we are today without that — it’s an absolute critical step in the process.”

Ward 3 Councilmember Beth Watson said she only had one concern.

“I don’t want it to fall off the radar once we have that study and then that study become obsolete by the time we revisit it again,” Watson said. “That would be my only concern. I was thinking maybe [Komatsu Architecture] could tell us, ‘Well for this you can do the plans for outside,’ so we have something. If we have some control there, I think that would be good.”

Criswell said that the city would probably enter into a separate contract with Komatsu Architecture to move forward with plans.

“I wouldn’t even call it a study. This is actually an element of what would be needed to create bid documents. It may not create 100% set of bid documents,” Criswell said. “As I see it, regardless of how far this gets us down the road, if it’s our commitment then we’ll continue down that road when the opportunities present themselves. I do know that Komatsu Architecture is a big player with the Texas Historical Commission and have done lots of historical restorations and renovations.”

Ward 4 Councilmember Doyle Light said he didn’t recall any discussion about Komatsu at all so he assumes the Texas Historical Commission selected the firm.

“Based on the language of the scope of work that Komatsu submitted, obviously they’ve been here and done some preliminary work and I certainly would hope we would have an agreement with them so we fully understand what we’re getting,” Light said. “In just hearing the discussion, we’re all aware it’s not going to be a 100% set of plans, but I’d kind of like to have a better idea of what we are going to get.”

The council unanimously approved the funding agreement with THC.

“When this all started, part of the facade was chipping off [the building] and so we were really reacting to that looking for any kind of funds we could find that would help us,” Mineral Wells Mayor Tammy Underwood said. 

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