City hall debates city hall’s future

Maintenance issues has Armstrong council considering the future of its existing facility

No heat. Burst rooftop drain. Widespread signs of water stains.

Those are some of the concerns that Armstrong’s 98-year old city hall building may need replacing. And soon.

However, council defeated a staff recommendation to authorize spending up to $3,000 for the city’s building inspection company to perform a comprehensive review of the facility.

“The condition of city hall raises concerns,” wrote chief financial officer Kevin Bertles in a report to council. “It is suggested more attention is required to maintain the existing facilities and ensure future service life.”

Beatles said a quote from the building inspection company to inspect city hall would allow staff to prepare the 2018 budget at reasonable standards, and council can be made aware of the underlying condition of the building.

“There’s no doubt at some point we’ll be looking at a new building,” said Coun. Shirley Fowler. “If we’re getting to the point where we have issues like this, it seems to me we should be thinking farther ahead and getting our plans and ducks in a row and start conversations about a new city hall.

“I don’t think $3,000 is going to go very far to do that. I’m just concerned putting $3,000 into finding out all what’s wrong when we know we’re going to be looking at a new building in the future anyway.”

Added Britton: “I don’t think we need to spend $3,000 to have somebody come in to relight the furnace. We need to be aware we have an old building and we need to maintain it.”

Count. Steven Drapala said the assessment report from the inspection company would let council know how soon a new building is needed.

“Is it five years? Ten years? Are there some repairs we can make that can stretch this (building) out for another 20 years?” he asked. “A plan is always better to have so you know what you’re looking at.”

Drapala and Coun. Lance McGregor were in favour of the recommendation.

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