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Lowell Historic Commission approves mirrored glass to block sunlight in council chambers | Business

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Lowell Historic Commission approves mirrored glass to block sunlight in council chambers
Business, News, Politics

Lowell, Mich. (WZZM) The Lowell Historic Commission cast a split vote on a project proposed for City Hall.

Officials asked the historic commission Tuesday to review and approve mirrored glass for the upper portion of the windows in city council chambers. Depending on the time of year, the bright sunshine can make it difficult to hold meetings.  The lower portion of the large windows have a black screening to block the sun but the top half moon section of the windows do not.  Right now the windows are tinted but the sunlight is still a problem. The hope is the reflective glass, installed on the inside, will solve the problem.  

Historic District Chairman, Stephen Doyle, voiced his concern the mirrored glass would not be appropriate in the historic district.  Commissioner Greg Canfield and Bob Reagan thought the impact of the mirrored glass would be minimal since it will be installed behind existing tinted glass.   After discussion, Doyle offered a compromise, accepting glass with 77% light blockage and less of a mirrored look.  However, commissioner Bob Reagan raised the question why not install the glass with the maximum light blockage.  Reagan said since the cost is the same why not do it right the first time. After more discussion the board approved a glass with 87% light blockage.  The vote was 3-1 in favor of the project.  Chairman Doyle voted against it.

In a related matter the board discussed whether the city should receive a 30% grant from the Historic District Commission to complete the work. Chairman Doyle questioned whether the project qualified, but other members of the board decided to support providing the grant.  Again, the final vote was 3-1 with Doyle opposed to providing the grant.

Chairman Doyle said, "I think this is the first time in 9 years we've ever had a split vote."

Author Note: For full disclosure I am a member of the Lowell Historic District Commission.  I voted in favor of both the tinted windows and the grant.

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