Union Bridge town officials are getting closer to beginning construction of the new town hall as they consider bids from contractors to design and build the structure, which will be attached to the Pump House Building on Locust Street.
The mayor and members of the Town Hall Committee, which has overseen the project through its planning stages, hope to find a suitable contractor when they open the bid proposals at the community center at noon Dec. 23.
"We will open the bids at noon, but we don't intend to make a decision until sometime after the next town meeting," said Kathleen D. Kreimer, town clerk and member of the committee. "But we want to begin the project as soon as possible."
The town began advertising for bids about Nov. 1, said Town Mayor Perry L. Jones Jr. The committee and officials have 75 days to make a decision about the bids or reject them all and advertise again.
"We are looking to spend somewhere in the ballpark of $150,000 to $160,000," said Mr. Jones.
The town council in October formed a committee to renovate the building, which would include offices for the mayor, town manager and two clerks, a conference room for small gatherings and a large room for council meetings.
The town submitted a floor plan detailing the number and sizes of rooms needed. The exterior is left to the builder's imagination.
Once the project is started, the building is to be completed in six months, Mr. Jones said.
"What we accept depends on a lot of things, like the design ideas, the time, and if they stay within our budget," Mr. Jones said.
Although the town hoped to receive grant money for historical restoration -- the Pump House is nearly 90 years old -- there is little money for the project, he said. Town fund-raising efforts have contributed a little more than $9,000, he said.
Still, the mayor said, he hopes the project will be completed by the annual town picnic in September.