City council members vote Monday to replace equipment

NILES — Niles City Council members voted unanimously Monday to pay to replace the flag pole in front of Niles City Hall, 33 N. Second St., for the cost of $25,875.

Mayor Nick Shelton said the cost is being subsidized by a $10,000 anonymous donation. The rest of the cost will come from the utility department, which has budgeted to cover the remaining $15,875.

City leaders have been talking about replacing the flag pole since earlier this year, when they noticed that some bolts that were installed to mitigate some metal fatigue at the top of the pole have been causing the flag to become tangled and tattered.

The new pole, which Shelton said should be installed later this year when the weather warms up, will be an 80-foot-tall Halyard Flagpole. Kalamazoo Flag Company will remove, dismantle and dispose of the current pole. All necessary materials and equipment for replacement of the pole was also included in the quote.

In an earlier city council meeting, city leaders discussed the importance of the flag as a landmark and making the investment to keep it in good condition.

“We get a lot of comments about how great the flag is,” Shelton said after the meeting.

City council members received only one bid for the removal project for $64,000, which was rejected and temporarily put the project on hold until additional funding became available.

“The donation was a huge reason why we moved forward,” Shelton said.

Shelton said city leaders contacted Kalamazoo Flag Company to get an updated quote for the project. The quote was recommended for acceptance by City Administrator Ric Huff, as well as the utilities and public works departments.

The current flag pole was salvaged from the former Kawneer headquarters building on Front Street.

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