On January 31, the Anna City Council approved the authorization for the Anna City Manager, Jim Proce, to negotiate a contract with Lee Lewis Construction.

Anna Director of Public Works Joseph Johnson said the process is in the initial phase. “The city’s architect, Randall Scott Architects, is currently working on a detailed design for the Municipal Complex,”

The site for the new city hall is slotted to be on Powell Parkway at the old Anna Grain site. It will encompass the entire block between Powell Parkway, Riggins Street, and Fifth Street and Seventh Street.

Johnson said received various companies submitted proposals. “The City issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) services late last year and received 6 proposals,” Johnson said.

“The companies that submitted proposals included Lee Lewis Construction, Crossland Construction Co., Inc., Key Construction, Steele & Freeman, Inc., Hill & Wilkinson General Contractors, and Byrne Construction Services.”

Johnson said there were multiple criteria that needed to be met to win the bid. “Proposals were ranked based upon experience, the qualifications of key professionals assigned to the project, the firm’s approach and ability to meet the City’s objectives, relevant project experience and capacity to complete the project, references, and cost of services.”

“The criteria were weighted at ten percent each with the exception of the cost criteria which was weighted at fifty percent,” Johnson added. “Eight committee members individually ranked each proposal after which interviews were scheduled with the top four candidates. The proposals were then ranked again and Lee Lewis Construction was recommended by the committee.”

Proce said the review team did a fantastic job. “Joseph Johnson led the review team and he did an outstanding job of getting us to this point in the project,” said Proce. “I commend their efforts.”

While many residents disagree with spending the money for the new city hall or the route the city is taking, everybody agrees it is a needed entity. Resident Erin Thompson aired her grievances and said she had mixed feelings on the matter. “I think the concept is good, and we definitely need a facility for everyone,” Thompson said, “but the implementation absolutely sucks.”

“Now, they are forcing out a long time business (Wells McCoy) just to fit their plan. That doesn’t sit well with me,” Thompson added.

Thompson also stated the city was not transparent in all the actions regarding the new city hall. “There was a lack of visibility on the finalization,” Thompson said. “After that special meeting in Richardson, you didn’t hear anything else about it. All of a sudden, it was a done deal and we had plans and a complex”

Thompson questioned why they citizens were not allowed to be a part of the decision making process.

Anna resident Stan Carver said he would have done things a bit different. “I would have invested into a community event center first,” Carver said. “Take care of the taxpayers and the city would get an excellent facility organically.”

“No business or prospective homebuyer moves to a city based on how amazing the city hall looks,” Carver added. “The money can be better spent on economic and community development rather than erecting a single-purpose building at this stage in our city’s growth.”

Carver compared the new plans to other architectural structures in Collin County. “Look at Melissa’s City Hall and Collin County’s courthouse. All are a monument to taxation and not the least bit frugal.”

The growth of Anna over the past few years has made the new city hall a necessary investment. The new city hall will bring together City Administration Departments to one convenient location, instead of spread out all over the city.

Johnson said the construction is set to start soon. “We are expecting construction to begin in the spring and continue approximately 18 months.”