An agreement between the Warsaw Redevelopment Commission and OrthoWorx means the third floor of Warsaw City Hall will soon have new occupants.
During the Warsaw Common Council meeting Monday night, the council was informed that the WRC had approved an “agreement for building renovations” with the Kosciusko County Community Foundation. Basically, it provides OrthoWorx a 3-year lease to occupy the top floor of the city hall building.
The agreement states KCCF will make payments to the city in an amount totaling $180,000, or $5,000 per month. But the money is not for rent, said Warsaw City Planner Jeremy Skinner, it is for renovation costs. “They are paying for a substantial portion of the renovation costs,” Skinner explained.
But councilwoman Elaine Call asked why the council or even the Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety were not involved in the decision. “Why is the Redevelopment Commission doing the agreement?” she asked. “Why is the city of Board of Works now involved? The agreement is with the city.”
Skinner and Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer explained that the WRC is handling the renovations of the city hall, but the matter will be presented to the Board of Works at its next meeting on May 17.
During the 3-year term, OrthoWorx will be responsible for all gas, water and electric utility bills for the third floor.
Warsaw began renovations the former National City Bank building in 2011 to turn it into the current city hall.
In a statement released today, OrthoWorx CEO Sheryl Conley said, “As part of our commitment to community enhancement, which is one of the initiative areas we were created to pursue, we are pleased to support the revitalization of the downtown. We believe a vital downtown is fundamental to a thriving community and we look forward to this project and continuing to be a presence in the downtown.
“In addition, we prefer to invest the funds entrusted to us back into the community when possible — this was an excellent opportunity to do so.”
Formed in 2009 with initial funding from the Lilly Endowment, OrthoWorx is a non-profit initiative that works strategically and collaboratively with the orthopedic industry and other stakeholders to ensure the Warsaw region continues to reap the social and economic benefits that derive from its position as The Orthopedic Capital of the World.®
“We appreciate OrthoWorx’s willingness to partner with us to complete the restoration of this community asset, which is the cornerstone of our downtown development efforts,” said Thallemer. “We have great plans for our building and the adjoining plaza and we are pleased to have OrthoWorx involved. They have been a force for positive change in our community and we look forward to continuing our collaborations.”
The B.O.W. will soon announce the advertisement for bids for the restoration project. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of the year.