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A strong turnout of nearly 60 citizens attended the second community meeting with the City Hall Advisory Committee and ARC Architects on Thursday, April 20.
ARC Architect Rex Bond reviewed the goal of developing an affordable concept design and cost estimate in support of a new City Hall at the Civic Center. At the first community meeting on March 28, the public preferred locating a future City Hall further back from the corner of 232nd Street and 58th Avenue, closer to the Police and Fire Stations. ARC Architects took that direction and prepared some concepts of where the building, parking, entrances/exits, and connections could be located.
The City Hall Advisory Committee had previously asked for general cost estimates for the square footage that resulted from the space needs assessment. At the Committee’s April 6 meeting, options ranged between $12 and $16.5 million and included a base model standalone City Hall, additional space for the Police Department, and a potential remodel of the current Police Station. Following that meeting, the city worked with ARC to refine the “soft costs” of those options including things like permits, environments surveys, traffic studies, impact fees, moving costs, borrowing costs, etc. Those figures were presented at the April 20 community meeting along with the concepts for a preliminary layout.
The audience asked questions and provided feedback on what they liked and did not like about the concepts. Some of the issues raised were security for City Hall and Police Station, traffic circulation at the Civic Center, connections through the site and with the library and through Veterans’ Memorial Park to the future light rail station, and interface of the building with the downtown.
Bond shared that a vision statement for the City Hall project was developed from the most popular vision words provided at the first community meeting. Those words were welcoming, common, functional, family, and community. Four vision statements were put online for citizen input and the following statement received 80% of the vote: “An efficient, functional City Hall and commons that is welcoming for families and the community.”
Discussion ensued about next steps and the Committee decided to look into options if there were two separate ballot measures presented to voters: one for a standalone City Hall and one to address Police Department space needs. They asked the city to research what other cities have done and ways those could be presented either on the same ballot or at separate times. Additionally, the Committee asked the city to bring back more detail on the space needs assessment results including what spaces were added to the current square footage the city pays for in the Interim City Hall. They will discuss those items and ways to pare down the total project costs at their next meeting.
The next City Hall Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for May 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Interim City Hall, 6100 219th Street SW, Suite 220. The next community meeting will be May 10 at Cedar Way Elementary. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the program will begin at 6:30 p.m.
For residents who cannot attend meetings, an online comment form is available on our City Hall Advisory Committee webpage, www.cityofmlt.com/1899. We encourage everyone to complete a comment form whether or not you can attend a meeting.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Community Relations Director Virginia Olsen at (425) 744-6206.