Fix city hall despite multi-million cost

The staggering $7-10 million price tag is undoubtedly difficult to swallow but the long-term value is worth the cost.
That’s my conclusion after considering recommended options to maintain and upgrade our city hall considered this week by council.
A final decision on how and when necessary upgrades take place will be made in late 2017 or early 2018 when I predict the issue could become an election issue.
At that time, some of the required cash might come from higher levels of government, Kitchener’s parking income or corporate sponsors.
And, even though it might not be politically palatable, if those cash sources come up short, I am ready to support a move to have taxpayers foot the bill for part of what I consider a worthwhile investment in the city’s future.
And I say that as a former council critic who, back when dinosaurs roamed downtown King Street, strongly opposed the demolition of our beautiful old city hall in the early 1970s. I also criticized the subsequent leasing of city hall space in a Frederick Street office tower and, in 1993, construction of the new city hall which won architectural awards.
In subsequent years I changed my mind about that building after watching everything from kids learning to skate on the city hall rink to massive Blues Festival crowds enjoying Carl Zehr Square. Because it has become the community heart of our city, money that should have been budgeted well before now must be found in the next two years.
Required work includes cracked pavement, leaks in the parking garage, upgrades to the skating rink/pool as well as stage improvements and efforts to provide more shade. Additional upgrades would also be done on the Duke Street side of city hall adjacent to what will then be the Light Rail Transit route.

This entry was posted in city hall repairs, Vibrant Downtown. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fix city hall despite multi-million cost

  1. Errol Semple says:

    Million dollar changes to Zehr Square at Kitchener City Hall will not make it more people friendly. Given Policy 1-495 and security enforcement, it is the most unfriendly place in Kitchener.

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