City workers moving into library building

Vernon consolidates city workers on to one site at current library building

It won’t be cheap, but City of Vernon workers are being consolidated on to one site.

Council agreed Monday to spend $600,000 to renovate the current library building once it is vacant so it can be used for city employees.

“It’s the most cost-effective and logical way to go,” said Coun. Catherine Lord.

The Vernon branch of Okanagan Regional Library will relocate to 30th Avenue later this year.

Beyond city hall, there is currently city staff at a rental office on 30th Street and in an old building on the city-owned Coldstream Hotel property.

Both of those facilities will be abandoned once staff moves into the current library building, which is 14,000-square-feet in size.

“Consolidating all services into one building will provide one-stop services for the public,” said Kim Flick, community development manager, adding efficiencies will be created because staff with similar duties will be together and they will be close to city hall.

“This is the long-term solution for space needs at city hall, short of the city hiring 20 new people which I don’t see happening.”

The $600,000 in renovations will come from reserves and general taxation.

It’s anticipated that the work will be done by June when the lease for the rental office on 30th Street ends.  The rental cost is $60,853 a year.

Some staff from the ground floor of city hall will also relocate to the current library, freeing up their space for the RCMP.

“It will definitely release the pressure,” said Sup. Reg Burgess of cramped quarters at the detachment.

However, placing the RCMP in city hall’s basement is considered to be a short-term fix and other long-term measures will be required for staff.

“Beyond two years, I would encourage council to have a plan,” said Burgess.

One potential option is to build out over the detachment’s parking lot so there are offices and underground parking.

 

That would cost about $4.5 million.

 

 

Vernon Morning Star