Only five people showed up to find out more and discuss the work to be carried out at TBL Town Hall, this after a busy and heated debate on local social media.
In a well-organized presentation, councillor Lee Patterson established that Town Hall should stay in its present location. He then explained that a new building would cost between $1.7 to 2 million to build. Also the town would still be responsible for updating the present building built in 1908 as a post office before it could be sold or rented out. Moreover, TBL’s Town Hall is part of the only historical urban core in the Eastern Townships.
The three priorities to address are: mold throughout the building especially in the basement; crumbling brick walls, and replacing windows. The renovation plan also includes the addition of extra space above the existing conference room.
The town has a choice of approach. The first is to execute the work over the course of ten months, while relocating the employees in temporary facilities. Alternatively, the work could be carried out in phases over a longer period of time, a possibly costlier option.
“We cannot guarantee there won’t be cost overruns,” said Patterson but “we are keeping infrastructure work to a minimum” so as to avoid the surprises that sometimes come with old buildings. Gilbert Arel, the DG also pointed out that the addition of space at town hall will allow all employees to work under one roof, thus saving $12,000 a year in rent.
Before any calls for tenders may be sent, a register will be held on Thursday March 2, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at town hall. Opponents will have the opportunity to voice their concerns.
If the consultation meeting is any indication, the renovation of Town Hall should be going ahead as planned.