Philip Miller - Town Council, Martin Crim - Town Attorney, Bridge Littleton - Mayor, Peter Leonard-Morgan - Vice-Mayor, Photo By Jay Hubbard

The Town of Middleburg broke ground on its new Town Hall on Monday, January 24. Cooper Building Services, LLC, of Frederick, Maryland (“Cooper”), was awarded the contract for site development and construction of new Town Hall, Totaling $10.7 Million. 

After a ten-month design and engineering process, which included approvals and input by multiple citizen-led advisory committees and commissions, the Town completed its construction documents in November 2021. During this process in 2021, the Town held two-hour-long public information sessions to keep citizens informed of the process and to allow them to provide feedback.

Eleven pre-qualified firms were issued the Invitation for Bids. Of these firms, four submitted responsive bids, which varied in cost between $10.7 and $11.1 Million, and Cooper was the lowest bidder. The Town is working with Cooper and its construction management team to find value engineering cost improvements.

The cost of the Town Hall project has increased from the most recent estimates for various reasons. Specifically, the construction industry is experiencing significant cost increases due to COVID-19 impacts, supply chain issues, labor challenges, record inflation, and strong demand for construction in the region. Since the pandemic’s beginning, some building materials have increased in price by over 200%. It is more than likely that waiting will only lead to further costs over time. Many construction sectors are seeing 1-2% monthly escalations. In addition, the influx of federal dollars into infrastructure projects will increase demand and further push costs higher. If the Town Hall were not built at this time, the Town and its consultants saw no scenario where the project cost would reduce; instead, it would have continued to escalate.

“This is a generational project for the Town of Middleburg. The need was first identified in 2006 and will allow us to serve the citizens, businesses, and visitors of Middleburg for decades to come,” said Vice-Mayor Peter Leonard-Morgan, who serves as the public information liaison for the project. “While it is a challenging time to construct a new building, we unanimously support the project and are eager to see it completed.”

Mayor Bridge Littleton said, “The Town remains in a very strong financial situation, perhaps the strongest in its history. Over the last ten years the Town has worked very hard to put ourselves in this financial position. We have saved approximately 200% of our annual operating expenses in our fiscal reserves.” The Town’s reserve fund is approximately $6.7 Million, with its annual general fund expenses at $3.5m. The Town’s Reserve policy requires the Town to hold at least 125% of annual expenses as a fiscal reserve. As a result, the Town has a healthy reserve balance for handling unforeseen emergencies, economic stresses, or financial challenges should they arrive in the future while still moving forward with this project.

The Town was able to secure $8 million in bonded debt for the project at a very low rate of 2.72%, and a $500 thousand grant from the Loudoun Country Capital Improvement Program; as a result, no increase in residential property taxes are required to pay for the project’s cost. The Town’s current revenue streams are sufficient to cover the Town’s debt service and continue to show strength during recovery from the pandemic.

Public Information Session on the Town Hall project in the coming weeks.

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