Council mulls new City Hall building, location

By Sarah Brown
Lebanon Local
The City Council authorized an agreement with Mackenzie Architecture of Portland to develop cost estimates for a new City Hall and improvements to the Lebanon Senior Center at its Sept. 8 meeting.
The council approved the archi-tecture firm’s Lebanon Facilities Master Plan update in 2019, which primarily focused on site options for a new City Hall. It indicated that the best location would be at the northeast corner of Academy Square, where the Senior Center and Lebanon Public Library are situated.
City staff is currently looking at options to fund the new City Hall and are considering the possibility of a major amendment to the North Gateway Urban Renewal District (URD) by adding the City Hall construction to its project plan and increasing the maximum indebtedness to provide the funding ability.
“But before we can embark on any kind of a major change to that district, we need to have a good handle on what the true costs of a city hall would be,” said Ron Whitlatch, engineering services director.
Working with Mackenzie, staff will get a better cost estimate, including costs to upgrade the Senior Center, which is already included in the URD.
“We want to get some hard dollars on that, as well, to at least have an idea what the district can support before we move forward with any kind of amendment,” he added.
Mayor Paul Aziz noted that the current City Hall hasn’t been a very good facility for many years.
“When I came on council I was shocked to find out how bad it was,” he said. “We need to replace it. It’s a hazard, it’s a danger.”
He added that it’s not about getting a nice, new building, but rather a safety issue.
“The building is pretty dysfunctional for a city hall,” said City Manager Nancy Brewer. “Among other things, we don’t really have an adequate size city council chamber.”
She also wanted to see the feasibility of tucking the city hall between the senior center and library to keep Academy Square’s open, grassy area.
The council authorized a $250,000 budget appropriation transfer to fund the needs assessment study and its associated costs.
Present councilors included Wayne Dykstra, Rebecca Grizzle, Gamael Nassar, Wayne Rieskamp, and Michelle Steinhebel. Councilor Jason Bolen was absent.
In other business, the council:
♦ Appointed Kim “KJ” Ullfers to fill the Ward 2 vacancy left by Rebecca Grizzle, who announced her retirement in July.
The council interviewed David Workman and Ullfers separately, choosing the latter based on his experience with the budget committee and work within the community.
♦ Entered into an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the City of Albany by motion through the consent calendar.
It allows the City of Albany to rent out two bed spaces at the Lebanon Jail in exchange for $47,450 per year. Lebanon will bear the daily costs of housing two Albany inmates, but Albany will pay any extra incurred costs, such as prescription drugs and non-routine medical and dental care.
The City of Albany approached the Lebanon Police Department with this proposal earlier this year, as Albany does not currently operate a jail. The bed space in Lebanon allows Albany to hold up to two low-level offenders from the Linn County area at a time on 10- to 14-day sanctions.
♦ Approved Ordinance Bill No. 2021-12 to annex two parcels at 4070 S. Santiam Hwy., located on the northwest corner of S. Santiam Highway and Crowfoot Road, and establish them as Residential Mixed Density.
♦ Approved Ordinance Bill No. 2021-13 to amend the Comprehensive Plan Map (CPMA-21-01) designating the property on the south side of Crowfoot Road between Central Avenue and Cascade Drive with the property address of 333 Crowfoot Rd. as Mixed Use.
♦ Approved Resolution 2021-19 to update the methodology for calculating the Transportation System Development Charges, effecitve January 2022.
♦ Approved the Guaranteed Maximum Price Amendment No. 2 for the Westside Sewer Interceptor Phase Va
and Vb Project.
The council first awarded the CM/GC contract to Emery & Sons Construction Group in April, then amended the GMP in May in order to secure the lowest possible bid for pipe materials.
During the past few months, the project team finalized costs needed to complete the project for GMP Amendment No. 2 at 100 percent for $21,324,830.88, which includes the preconstruction phase services and early work amendment No. 1.
♦ Approved the transition of the function of the Arts Commission from the City of Lebanon to the Lebanon Downtown Association. LDA will receive a one-time fund of $8,000 for the work associated with the transition. The Lebanon Arts Commission was then dissolved from the city, and Ordinance Bill No. 2016-17, Ordinance No. 2886 Creating Chapter 2.18 of the Lebanon Municipal Code was repealed.
♦ Approved Resolution No. 2021-21 authorizing staff to submit an application for the Community Assistance Grant from the Department of Land Conservation and Development in order to hire a consultant to assist with the Economic Opportunity Analysis and initiation of the Comprehensive Plan Update process.
The current comprehensive plan was adopted by City Council in 2004. Comprehensive plans are usually updated every 20 years, but it takes significant planning and analysis to complete. Grants provide opportunities to help fund the work needed.
♦ Approved a two-year employment contract with Nancy Brewer as city manager.