Council mulls new City Hall and Senior Center upgrades

By Sarah Brown
Lebanon Local
The Lebanon City Council held a work session prior to its Wednesday, Jan. 12 meeting to review plans for a new city hall and upgrades to the Lebanon Senior Center.
A team from the Mackenzie architecture firm of Portland presented three options for city hall locations, all placed near the senior center at the Academy Square park.
According to Mayor Paul Aziz, the current 16,000-square-foot city hall has been deemed unsafe since the early 2000s.
“This is a failing building,” City Manager Nancy Brewer said. “It has structural issues, water incursion, wind shear issues, and there’s no insulation.”
The proposed city hall is 18,000 square feet, and includes a chamber to be used by the City Council and Linn County courts.
Proposed senior center upgrades include added windows, a new fitness area, structural improvements and upgraded mechanical systems. The total cost for the projects is estimated between $23.4 and $27.6 million.
According to Brewer, there are two possible options for the city to finance a new city hall: a voter-approved general obligation bond or an urban renewal program. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state grant monies are also possible.
Brewer ended the work session by recommending the council take steps to explore financing. To watch the discussion in full, visit youtu.be/tt2MnBOUx3o.
The City Council meeting followed the work session. In attendance were Aziz and Brewer, and councilors Jason Bolen, Wayne Dykstra, Gamael Nassar, Wayne Rieskamp, Michelle Steinhebel and Kim Ullfers. The council:
♦ Renewed a two-year contract with Eric Moeller for public defender services. He will receive an annual $22,000 salary.
♦ Accepted a Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund Grant Agreement with the state to receive $325,000 for the Build Lebanon Trails South Shore Trail along Cheadle Lake. BLT is contributing $38,000 for the project, and city staff will complete the design and construction inspection. The project will extend the Cheadle Lake trail from the eastern tip of an existing trail along the lake to run along the south border.
The next council meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, in person at the Santiam Travel Station.