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College Station to spend $1.6 million on furniture for new city hall, sparks pushback

City of College Station
Posted at 1:53 PM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-05 19:57:43-04

COLLEGE STATION, TX — On June 24, the City Manager for College Station, Bryan Woods, confirmed the new city hall building will be ready by the end of 2021.

During the council meeting, the city also confirmed that of their $2.5 million budget for new furniture... just $1.6 million will be spent.

This $1.6 million contract was awarded to Houston-based company, OP, and includes $75,000 in moving fees.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Cunha raised concern during said meeting, stating, this money could instead - be given to non-profit agencies like BCS Habitat for Humanity, who could provide volunteers to do the same thing.

"I am concerned about the $75,000, that we're paying in moving services... when most of it, we're not even crossing a street, we're crossing a parking lot," Councilwoman Cunha shared.

"I know when you think about 2 million dollars, these amounts seem small. But man, it just followed Debbie Ellerd's presentation, where $35,000 is all we're giving for a whole year. And here we are talking about $15,000 for an elevator and $75,000 for moving services."

Ellerd, had presented a proposal earlier that evening, regarding the 2022 Annual Action Plan and Community Development Budget.

The elevator fees mentioned, came after contractors failed to have the new building's elevator operating in time for moving. Adding $15,000 in additional fees.

City Manager Woods, responded to this proposal, by stating hiring volunteers could not be executed due to liability issues, citing both potential injury and security breaching.

Councilwoman Cunha also raised concern as to what would happen to their existing furniture, stating, the very chairs they were sitting on were still in good condition and did not belong in a landfill.

City Manager Woods replied by confirming the city was still actively pursuing ways they can either re-purpose, donate, or sell the existing furniture, avoiding it being tossed out.