Council to ponder next steps for new community hall

Council to ponder next steps for new community hall

Current hall in need of repairs

The District of Houston has deferred a decision to spend $40,000 on a concept plan and cost estimate as the first step toward replacing the aging community hall to its finance committee.

The committee, made up of council members, will first examine current costs to maintain existing service levels against any new initiatives, says District chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck.

“The source of funding for the $40,000 will be identified a a future financial planning meeting,” he said.

Built at some point in the 1950s and although renovated over the years, the structure is approaching the end of its useful life.

More work is now needed — including replacing the roof within the next five years at an estimated $250,000 cost.

An examination of municipal assets has already recommended that a new hall be built.

But spending money on the existing structure must be balanced against a return of the investment coming from revenues.

The study of municipal assets indicated at best, the hall has a maximum 15 years left under the best circumstances.

The 2017 study, in broad estimates taking into account engineering and contingency costs, projected at the high end a $3.25 million price tag for a new facility.

District staffers, however, are pointing to a federal and provincial program which could provide up to 73.33 per cent of the cost for a new hall.