New year, new look: Village Hall undergoes COVID-19 renovations

Dalton Mayor Dennis Finley talks about renovations to the second floor of the historical Village Hall. He points to names of village and township officials carved in sandstone in 1895.

BEFORE AND AFTER: The second floor of Village Hall has been renovated thanks in part to COVID-19 relief funds. Residents will soon be able to use the front door of Village Hall along Main Street.

DALTON  Mayor Dennis Finley confides that he’s not a fan of change.

In his first year as mayor of this village of about 1,800 residents, he has seen a lot of change this year.

In some instances, some silver linings have emerged because of the global pandemic. The second floor of Village Hall at Main and Mill streets has been renovated thanks in part to federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act funding. Also, residents can now walk in through the front door that faces Main Street to conduct village business.

A wall is being constructed in the former village council chambers so that transactions can be conducted safely with a barrier.
Last week, council had its first regular monthly meeting on the renovated second floor, which is big enough to allow them to meet safely following guidelines – at least 6 feet apart.

“The goal wasn’t to meet up here but the goal was to improve health and safety,” Finley said last week standing in the recently renovated second floor of Village Hall. “At the first of the year we would have had no intent on doing what we did. And so when the COVID money first came out I remember talking to different employees and thinking ‘we don’t have any need for that’ and then we started looking into some of the things. As COVID has progressed, you find needs that you didn’t know were there.”

Read the complete report in the Dec. 30, 2020 edition.

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