Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday March 22, 2001
Demolish Hamilton City Hall: report
Municipal bureaucrats are recommending Hamilton councillors tear down City Hall and build a $74-million replacement.
At a time taxpayers are faced with a $2-billion bill to replace Hamilton’s crumbling sewer and water system, civil servants have suggested demolishing the 40-year-old downtown municipal building.
But councillors are already balking at the idea that is certain to draw a political firestorm.
“It would be impossible to sell,” said Flamborough Councillor Dave Braden.
“That doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”
Said Ward 4’s Sam Merulla: “They are dreaming in technicolour. Any expenditure of that nature is incredibly absurd at this stage of the game. I won’t even entertain the possibility of discussing that issue.”
A draft report on the new city’s accommodation needs shown to a council sub-committee recommends flattening the eight-storey building and erecting a new structure on the same site.
Staff rate the $74-million solution as the best of six options they looked at for accommodating the city’s 1,000-plus office workers.
They say it is the most economical over the long term.
The cheapest option comes in at about $37 million and involves moving staff out to various locations around the new city and continuing to lease space downtown.(The Hamilton Spectator)