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Easton mayor says moving city hall offices will save money

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 10 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 11 2013 06:01:43 PM CST

Construction on Easton's intermodal facility hasn't started yet, but there's already a high-profile tenant ready to move in.

EASTON, Pa. -

Construction of a proposed intermodal facility in Easton hasn't started yet, but there's already a high-profile tenant ready to move in. City Hall will call the building home, said Mayor Sal Panto, D-Easton.

The move, Panto said, will reduce space and save the city money. He also said that if the city is paying for the facility, the taxpayers should get the benefits of the building, as well.

The plans for the intermodal facility look the same with three floors, a parking deck and 45,000 square feet of space. The majority of it will be used by the city.

"It wasn't something that was just thought in the last two weeks or the last two years," said Panto. "We've thought about this for a very long time."

The space at the current City Hall is too large for city services, said Panto, adding that it will save money in energy cost and space.

"My office will be much smaller," added Panto. "Our office conference rooms will be much smaller. We will be basing it more on a work station. So, we have less space, more efficiency, maximizing the efficiency."

The moving of City Hall means the Alpha Building will be up for sale. The city is currently doing an appraisal on that building, Panto said.

After taking a long, hard look at the numbers, Panto said this is the best move for the city, even if it's still not known how much will be saved.

"We're still crunching the final numbers," added Panto. "We don't want to give out anything today."

The cost of the intermodal building is estimated at $14 million. The city is going to pay for half and the rest will be paid through federal and state grants.

The move still needs City Council approval. A formal presentation of the plan will be made Wednesday, and Panto said he hopes the move will be approved in March.