Osoyoos town staff will bring a report to council, possibly as soon as this month, about the next step toward building a new town hall.
Chief administrative officer Barry Romanko said following this afternoon’s council meeting that staff will “do some research” and come back with a report looking at the “cost and content” of a feasibility study into such a project.
Earlier today, the committee of the whole received a consultant’s report saying that the cost of needed repairs and rehabilitation to the 50-plus-year-old town hall would be higher than building a new one.
As reported on ODN last week, the David Naime and Associates report — which highlighted serious architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical issues — estimated the cost of interim necessary repairs and eventual replacement at more than $4.2 million over five years.
Senior staff, including Romanko and operations director Jim Dinwoodie, suggested delaying any action until next fiscal year.
But there was discontent around the table at the idea of waiting, particularly considering some of the safety issues in the report.
“Can we speed it up?” asked Councillor CJ Rhodes. “The (idea) of waiting another year doesn’t sit well.”
Romanko said that even though the 2018 budget is all but finalized, it would still be possible to make adjustments to find some funding for a feasibility study. He indicated the matter could be discussed at the afternoon regular meeting.
But somehow, between the two meetings, the urgency went out of the matter and no member of council brought it up in the afternoon.
In an interview following the meeting, Mayor Sue McKortoff said she was surprised that no one raised the new town hall issue during discussion of the budget.
The mayor said Romanko agreed to bring a report to council, “maybe at the next meeting on the 19th.”
Romanko said the report could look at a variety of related issues, including:
•How much space will be needed for the new town hall;
•Whether to incorporate a replacement for the RCMP detachment building; and
•The possibility of private sector partners in the project.
He indicated than a new town hall would likely be built in the eastern portion of the civic centre block in the area currently occupied by the former home of Destination Osoyoos