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updated: 11/2/2012 1:50 PM

Lombard upgrading front counter for $65,000

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The front counter at Lombard village hall will be getting a face lift, but at a cost of $35,000 more than originally budgeted.

The desk will be upgraded to provide a more ergonomic environment for employees, improve customer service to residents who have trouble accessing the tall counter, and match the recently renovated board room. But the work comes at a cost of $65,115 as opposed to the $30,000 budgeted.

Trustees originally thought a new choice of wood for the project -- cherry to match the counters and accents in the board room renovations completed this spring -- was the culprit for the increased price. But when public works Director Carl Goldsmith explained foregoing cherry wood only would save $15,000, trustees opted to keep the material and approved the project by a 5-1 vote Thursday night.

The cost increased because two work stations were added to the design after the original $30,000 estimate was made, Goldsmith said. Using an outside contractor -- J-MAC Associates of Carol Stream -- for the work instead of village staff, and requesting demolition take place after hours also added to the price, he said.

Trustee Zachary Wilson voted against the improvements and asked village staff members to "explain the justification for doing this in the first place."

Village Manager David Hulseberg said the project will update a look that is 30 years old and allow better security for village staff and money stored behind the counter. It also will provide easier access to residents who use a wheelchair or have difficulty accessing a tall counter, he said.

Additional funding for the project will come from money set aside for washroom accessibility improvements that were delayed and from the capital fund reserve account, according to a memo from Goldsmith.

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