Smiths Falls set to move ahead with Phase II of Town Hall renovations
Smiths Falls council has given staff the green light to pursue Phase II of the Town Hall renovations.
“This will be the largest of the three phases,” said Councillor Peter McKenna.
The project is expected to take approximately five to six months to complete and will transform the service areas within the Town Hall complex.
“It will include all of the front facing service areas, so it will be the building services… it’ll be where you come in and pay your taxes,” said Art Manhire, director of Community Services.
It will also mean remodeling the Fire Department’s space, giving additional, much needed square footage to the department and helping to improve operations.
“We’re building this for a minimum of 15 years into the future and the fire chief is comfortable with the plan and was part of the consultation process,” said Manhire.
The town had budgeted a little more than $1.5 million for Phase II, which includes $639,567 carried over from the 2018 budget the additional scope of work to include building and engineering services into Phase II is estimated to cost an additional $300,000.
Staff are looking into the possibility of taking that sum out of the ballooning building reserve, but that has yet to be confirmed.
“We’ve consulted with the auditor, and we’ve earmarked the money that’s in reserve at this point, but council will have to make the final decision,” said CAO Malcolm Morris.
This second phase will not include council chambers, and essentially means the chambers will not be moved to the ground floor as had been contemplated.
“As much as it pains me to put it off, I can see that serving our residents on a daily basis, comes before a once a week council,” concluded Councillor Wendy Alford.
According to Manhire, council chambers will remain where they are, but will be made accessible in Phase III.
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