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OK given to hire engineer for Hotel Atwater project

ATWATER -- An engineer will be hired to produce a pre-design plan for a renovation project at the historic Hotel Atwater.

The Atwater City Council took action to spend up to $5,000 on the pre-design plan. The money is coming from the Atwater Development Corporation, which has provided funding for other city projects.

A public meeting will be held to decide whether the project should go ahead.

The city has been awarded a $96,000 matching grant from the Minnesota Historical Society to turn the gutted building into a city hall.

The City Council has not made a firm decision on whether to use the grant and move ahead with the project because the total cost is unknown.

A committee presented a preliminary list of projects estimated to cost $472,182. Repairing exterior brick, replacing windows, in-stalling a heating and cooling system and restoring the storefront are on the list.

Besides requesting access to the state grant, the committee presented information about other grants.

Proponents of the project have said the building is worth saving and would be a showcase for Atwater.

Opponents have said the cost to renovate the structure would be more than the cost of constructing a new building and that city money should be spent on other infrastructure needs.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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