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Renovations begin at City Hall

Penticton city council gave the nod to Greyback Construction this week, moving ahead with a planned renovation of city hall at a special council meeting Monday.

The contract is in the amount of $153,562, out of a $250,000 budget for the project.

It was approved for the 2013 fiscal year, but didn’t get done.

Work has already begun, with offices and staff being shifted around to make way for the construction crews.

Mayor Garry Litke said the renovation will increase accessibility in a couple of ways, concentrating services to the public on the first floor.

“We get a lot of complaints about people who can’t really physically make it to the second floor.  We have an elevator, but it’s not ideal for a lot of folks, especially if they are in a power chair,” said Litke.

“But equally important is the concept of the one-stop shopping. Right now, people end up going to two or three different desks. If you have never been to city hall before, it’s a bit intimidating. “It’s not a very friendly kind of reception the way it is structured right now. One- stop shopping is the idea, all services on the first floor that are easily accessible to the public.”

Departments that don’t often have direct interaction with the public, like IT and accounting will be moved to the second floor, to make room for the new layout.

“As far as the exact cost at this point, we haven’t finalized that yet. The external contract was the  big question mark as far as how much that could come in at,” said communications officer Simone Blais.

“With that in place, we now can begin working on those costs as far as keeping them under budget.”

Blais said city hall will be open during renovations, and though there will be “noise and banging here and there” they hope customers will be patient with them.

The renovation is expected to be finished by the end of March.

 

 

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