March 07, 2014 - 3:28 PM
KAMLOOPS — The former Daily News property could become the new downtown parkade, or a performing arts centre, or even a new city hall if the city gets approval for the $4.8 million purchase.
Mayor Peter Milobar announced Thursday morning the city is looking to purchase the property, which includes the building and the parking lot on the south side of the alley.
“It's a site we heard from the public to look at, it lends itself well,” Milobar said of the property. “It was critical to secure, we could've seen a loss of significant surface parking.”
The lot was one of three sites the city was looking at as a possible parkade and Milobar said the Glacier Media owned property is the right size, scope and scale, and one that was necessary to secure before someone else scooped up the current parking lot portion and got rid of those parking stalls.
The property also offers the option to accommodate a civic building as well, something Milobar said was key in the decision.
“Anything we acquired needed to be large enough for a civic building as well,” he said. “We have to look to the future.”
Though a new city hall building has been talked about for years it is not on the agenda just yet, Milobar noted. He also acknowledged the location of the property fits the bill for both a parkade and an arts facility based on public feedback council heard on both projects.
Council will now look at getting approval for the alternative approval process for the necessary funds and once approved by the province the 60-day process will begin. As long as no more than 10 per cent of electors respond with concerns over the necessary borrowing bylaw during the process the sale will then be completed.
The purchase will be funded through parking revenues and reserves earmarked for parking infrastructure.
“There will be no property tax impact to acquire (the property),” Milobar affirmed.
Milobar said it will likely be upwards of two years before they know for sure what plans will be for the building, which he described as 'a concrete bunker', and any changes to surface parking will probably be a few years away. In the meantime the city will likely run the surface parking lot as it does other city-owned lots.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014