Rossland mayor Kathy Moore said it makes sense to proceed with a new city hall and affordable housing development, despite community concerns about the financial viability of the project during the COVID-19 crisis.
If construction proceeds on the four-storey building, council chambers would be located on the bottom floor and 37 affordable housing units would be located on the above three floors. The city anticipates the project will cost around $15 million.
Moore said the the project would provide immediate benefits to the community.
“Despite the current reality of the COVID‐19 pandemic, council is looking to the future,” said Moore in an online city council newsletter.
“By having a shovel‐ready project prepared to move forward during the recovery it could attract more stimulus funding, it would generate needed work, and create support for local businesses at a time when they need it most.”
Delaying the project could also mean unnecessary additional costs for the city, said Moore.
Moore said the project would also generate revenue for the city in a time of economic uncertainty.
“This is the best long‐term solution because it addresses the current and future needs of the community,” said Moore.
“[It] provides revenue from selling the existing [city hall] facility, new tax revenue from the new owners as well as tax revenue from the housing project.”
Rossland has been without a city hall since 2018 after a roof collapse forced the closure of the facility.
Moore said tenants would help to cover the mortgage and operating expenses for the housing portion of the project.
She also emphasized that the project wouldn’t go ahead if the city or any of its partners pulled out of the project.
Of the $15 million project cost, $10 million would come from regional and provincial partners and around $3 million would come from the city.
Rossland city councillors approved the development permit for the project at a meeting earlier this month.