HomeNewsCowichan Valley$13.5 million decision on new Ladysmith city hall project in council agenda...

$13.5 million decision on new Ladysmith city hall project in council agenda Tuesday

Tonight Ladysmith council will make a big decision on the future of their city hall.

The current building has been deemed to no longer fit the needs of the community because of its size. They’ve begun work on a plan for a new building, which will contain their city hall, an institutional place, and some units of housing.

It’s referred to as the Buller Street Revitalization Project because they plan to build on lands located at Buller Street and 1st Ave. The town purchased the land in 2015 with the intention of constructing a new administration building.

In the staff report, they say that the current city hall is dealing with many issues.

“The current city hall no longer fits the needs of the community,” reads the report. “The building is too small and requires staff to work out of multiple locations, which results in process inefficiencies. The Town pays for rented space at 132c Roberts Street and also utilizes an off-site storage area due to moisture and rodent issues at the current city hall.”

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While there has been maintenance work on the current facility, which was built in 1950, the report says that it will require further renovations to allow it to maintain its role as city hall.

They are preparing a final decision on if they should proceed with an Alternative Approval Process (AAP) to borrow $13.5 million to fund the project.

While staff is recommending an AAP, council’s other options are to sell the property, hold a referendum on borrowing, or not proceed with the project altogether. They say a referendum would be more expensive than an AAP because of additional staff time, facility costs, ballots, and voting machines.

An AAP would require more than ten per cent of Ladysmith voters to submit a form opposing borrowing to prevent the project from continuing.

The decision is in tonight’s council meeting which starts at 6:30 pm.

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