By Nona Tepper
River Forest trustees unanimously approved contracts with a construction firm and office supply retailer at their regular board meeting on Feb. 26 to modernize the village hall by expanding the front counter space, replacing the carpet and installing new work stations.
Trustees awarded a $137,800 construction contract to Efraim Carlson & Son, based in north suburban Libertyville, which provided the lowest of the seven bids trustees received for the work.
Efraim Carlson will create two customer windows at the front counter on the second floor of village hall. Currently, there is only one window at the space, which is where village staff answer permit, public safety and citation questions, process bill payments and more.
"The current space limitations at the front counter make it difficult to process multiple customers at one time, hear each customer, and confidentially discuss private matters, which is not consistent with the level of customer service that the village aims to provide," a Feb. 22 memorandum by Village Administrator Eric Palm reads.
The two new windows will also "create a separate space that allows for police matters and other sensitive conversations to be handled in a private area," according to the memorandum.
Meanwhile, trustees also awarded a $224,696 contract for the installation of new work spaces and carpet to Interiors For Business, an office supply retailer based in west suburban Batavia. Installing the new work spaces will cost $187,687, and replacing the carpet will cost $37,008.
"The proposed plan creates much-needed additional work spaces for seasonal and part-time employees that are currently required to share work spaces with full-time employees," the memorandum reads.
All office furniture in private offices in village hall will remain the same, as will desk chairs and file cabinets, which will receive new laminate tops.
Money from the Capital Improvement Fund will pay for the majority of the work. And because the project falls between two fiscal years, money has already been allocated in fiscal 2019 to cover the remaining costs for the upgrade.
The fiscal year 2018-19 budget, which starts May 1, has not been completed yet.
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