LADYSMITH, B.C. – Town of Ladysmith council members have asked staff to create a borrowing bylaw to get the ball rolling on a new city hall along with housing and institutional space.
During a recent council meeting, the councillors instructed staff to use an alternative approval process to prepare a borrowing bylaw in the amount of $13.5 million for the Buller Street revitalization project located on town-owned lands at 1st Ave. and Buller Street.
An alternative approval process is used to obtain elector assent without a referendum.
In a report to council from director of financial services Erin Anderson, manager of corporate services Sue Bouma and CAO Allison MCCarrick, it was noted the Town of Ladysmith is pursuing opportunities to work with both the British Columbia and federal governments to build housing in the downtown area above a new city hall along with institutional space.
The need for a new city hall has been discussed for more than a decade since the current building does not fit the needs of the community, the report added.
“Since 2013, the town engaged with consultants to prepare a space-needs assessment and to analyze various options/locations for a new city hall building. In 2015, the town purchased the lands located at Buller Street and 1st Avenue with the intention of constructing a new administration building,” the report said.
The current city hall was constructed in the early 1950s and necessary upgrades to the building include a new roof and windows installed in 2023 to keep the building functioning as a city hall, the report said.
The town would only be borrowing for the city hall and institutional space portion of the project and not the housing, the report added.