HUDSON:City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to lease 11,248 square feet of office space at 115 Executive Parkway.
City offices currently located at town hall, First and Main, and the Evaporator Works will now all be under one roof.
“We have been examining ways to generate increased efficiency, improve services and operations, and save money for tax payers for some time,” said city manager Anthony Bales.
The move will be for a period of three years, during which time, city officials will have time to evaluate the consolidation and make a long-term decision as to a permanent location.
Retired council member John Jeffers spoke in opposition to the move.
"This building is the essence of Hudson," Jeffers said, referring to the town hall. He had read about the proposed move on the internet, to "another, more modern, building," and was “unhappy to hear it.”
Council member William Wooldredge said that Jeffers raised a good point. He went on to state, however, that only a few city offices were actually located in the building, and that the rest "were scattered all over."
Only the clerk, the administrative offices, and the finance department are currently located in the town hall.
City council meetings will still be held in the town hall, even after the move, and the utility payment drop box will still be located at the front door.
Council President David Basil says that he would not have voted for the move if council meetings would not have continued to be held at the town hall. He feels that the next three years will provide experience that will help with the long-term decision as to location, and allow the city to become more efficient in its operations.
Member J. Daniel Williams says they should try the move and wait and see if there is any backlash from the community over moving from the town hall.
Alex Kelemen from Ward 3 said it was not an impetuous decision and that council has been discussing ways to save money and operate with greater efficiency since he has been a member.
Bales says that some of the advantages of the relocation and consolidation will be allowing grouping of similar departments that collaborate on projects, generating savings by reducing the quantity of office equipment; now duplicated at each location, reducing staff by combining jobs and responsibilities, and allowing the communications manager to provide timely, accurate and complete information to citizens from all city departments when they are grouped in one area.
The move is expected to be completed by March 4.