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Ribbon Ready - City Complex Complete
Last minute wiring, a few leftover 'punch list' items and the moving of boxes, files, furniture and personnel from one location to another overall went smoothly for Escalon city officials, and City Hall is up and running at its new 2060 McHenry Ave. location.

The first Escalon City Council meeting in the new location was slated for March 5 and included the serving of cake and coffee along with a handful of items on the agenda.

A ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the building for business was slated on Thursday afternoon, March 1 with city council members, contractors, subcontractors and city staff in attendance. Making the ceremonial cut was Mayor Danny Fox, as fellow council members and officials helped hold the oversized ribbon.

"The finished product speaks for itself," Mayor Fox said in gesturing to a sleek, polished facility. "This is a great job.

"We had some of the finest people working on it, that made it much easier than I thought, I'm glad it's done and I couldn't be happier."

Local contractor C.T. Brayton and Sons, Inc. was the lead contractor for the work, with several subcontractors on site over the past few months. City Engineer John Abrew and project manager David Ruby both said there were relatively few issues, with work progressing smoothly, the weather cooperating and the project coming in on time and within budget.

Mayor Pro Tem Ed Alves also issued thanks to acting City Manager Henry Hesling for getting the dormant project moving again.

"He was instrumental in getting this design-build arrangement," Alves said. "He and John (Abrew) did a great job."

Ruby was also key in the project, on scene every day to check in with contractors and subcontractors and troubleshoot any issues.

Bringing all the city offices under one roof has long been sought and the city a few years ago purchased both shell buildings, at 2040 and 2060 McHenry, with the idea of creating the city complex. The police and recreation departments moved in to 2040 McHenry a couple of years ago, with other departments scattered at a handful of locations. Now, City Hall, with the city clerk, city manager, city council, planning-building-engineering, transit and finance are all under one roof.

Hesling said the building and offices aren't fancy, but are functional and offer residents a 'one stop' location to handle city business.

"There's also some symbolism," council member Robert Swift noted, pointing to the large windows. "You can see in. There's transparency."

Alves said the new location brings the city up to a new standard of operation and efficiency.

"We've gone from a clunker to a Mercedes" he said.