Town of Ladysmith takes steps toward potential replacement of City Hall

Council approves working with a consultant to investigate space needs and agrees to establish a reserve fund.

As a step toward the potential replacement of City Hall, the Town of Ladysmith will work with with Process Four Design to determine the space needs for City Hall.

This work will cost up to $23,000, and it was approved Oct. 21.

Council has directed that staff investigate the replacement of the existing City Hall. Funding for this process is included in the Town’s 2013-17 Financial Plan.

“Another important piece to the decision to replace City Hall is to ensure that the building itself is appropriate for our community, both when it is built and for its expected lifespan,” city manager Ruth Malli wrote in her report to council. “Taxpayers (rightly so) demand that investment in infrastructure, particularly civic buildings, is appropriate to meet the service needs of the community.”

“Several other municipalities have utilized a unique approach that first looks at how service is being delivered and then looks at a building to fit the service needs,” she continued. “Often, this shift of looking at services first results in reduced costs and improved functionality. The Town of Ladysmith has already begun working with a consultant, Process Four Design, that has extensive experience in this area.”

The objective of the current work is to identify ways of streamlining processes to better deliver service to the public, explained Malli.

“These streamlined or improved operational practices can be integrated into the planning process for a City Hall in Ladysmith,” she said.

The work done by Process Four Design typically includes the development of a computer-based simulation model, which allows easy and immediate evaluation of multiple options, and their processes show their clients how to generate innovative and more effective ways of dealing with a changing world, explained Malli.

During the Oct. 21 council meeting, council also agreed to establish a Municipal Office Building Replacement Fund, by bylaw. Council gave the fund establishment bylaw three readings.

In the 2013-17 Financial Plan, council allocated that $55,000 be set aside in a reserve fund for the eventual replacement of City Hall.

“By creating a reserve bylaw, these funds will be restricted and can only be spent for the purpose of acquiring land and building a new municipal building,” financial services director Erin Anderson wrote in her staff report.