Wednesday, February 13, 2008

City council votes to fix up city hall

Timmins City Council has decided to move ahead with plans to renovate the city council chambers despite the efforts of one councillor to have the money and manpower directed to upgrading the McIntyre Community Building.
The cost is estimated to be approximately $65,000 along with roughly 1,000 man-hours of work performed by city tradesmen.
Coun. Bill Gvozdanovic tried to convince council to put the project aside saying it wasn’t really necessary, even though council had provided for the project in its spending budget.
“I would like to see this matter deferred until we get a report back from Building and Maintenance on how we could use that money on the McIntyre Arena, which we’ve identified you know as something that has to be looked at,” he said.
Gvozdanovic went so far as to table a motion to defer the project.
“The question is one of priority,” said Gvozdanovic. “Is it the council chamber, at this moment, or is it the McIntyre Arena? I will certainly vote against this resolution and would certainly want to see a report on how we can apply this money.”
Coun. Pat Bamford says he is not against the council renovation per se, but he doesn’t agree with the layout of the councillors’ desks, which will move toward two straight lines of tables, instead of the semi-circular layout that exists now.
Bamford said the layout of two straight tables would seem undignified.
Coun. Gary Scripnick said it was normal and reasonable to keep city buildings “up to par” especially since the spending had already been approved.
Council was told that the new layout is not etched in stone and that it could be amended in such a way as to meet most needs and concerns.
The motion to defer the work was put before council and resulted in a tie vote, with Mayor Tom Laughren breaking the tie in favor on having the project move ahead.
The renovation will see the council floor raised by five inches so that wiring for computers, electricity and the in-house sound system can be accommodated. This will also mean creating a ramp at the entrance to the council chamber to allow for wheelchairs.
The ramp will mean that seating benches for approximately five people will have to be removed. It means the public gallery capacity will go from forty seated persons to 35 seated persons.
The renovation work is expected to occur in the month of April, at which time council will hold its meetings at the Timmins Public Library.

No comments: