The town hall of Lacombe takes a new step in its renovation plan
In the early 2000s, officials say the then City of Lacombe acquired the building from Lacombe County. After renovations and branding, they say the space was planned for around 20 employees with offices built later to accommodate new staff.
The administration says that in recent years there have been “increasing challenges” with the functionality and security of the space.
For the planning and development department, they say space is limited when working at the counter with clients and the shared space does not provide quiet spaces to conduct video calls, attend webinars or have private phone conversations.
In the finance department, they say the area is inefficient with its curved walls, lack of storage space and staff with their backs to the reception desk while working on their computers.
At reception, officials say lack of security has been a problem as there is no separation between the general staff area and areas immediately accessible to the public, leading to incidents of theft in offices open and unauthorized entry into workspaces by “unhappy customers”.
The administration engaged interior designer Sublime Design to draft a new layout focused on improving access to customer service, creating more efficient use of workspace, providing secure access and new toilets accessible to the public.
The designer’s draft includes the following suggestions, among others:
- The creation of a secure area separating public and private spaces with the need for a member of staff to authorize access to these private spaces
- More than one travel route in a security situation in each department
- A self-service kiosk for staff to train the public on accessing self-service web functions and completing forms
- A small mural area serving as a focal point at the top of the main staircase, showcasing the city logo and serving as a “photo op” location for awards shows, press backdrop, etc.
As part of the 2021 capital budget, renovations have been completed to the council chambers and ground floor restrooms of City Hall. The 10-year capital plan in 2021 included additional renovations for City Hall, and the 2022 capital budget allocated $250,000 for renovations to City Hall this year.
Diane Piché, the city’s director of corporate services, says a local contractor estimated the cost of the renovations at $228,000, not including contingency funds, furniture or housing for city staff to be relocated during the shutdown. of the town hall.
The administration said additional space could be provided to the Lacombe Police Department for bylaw enforcement and IT staff. They indicate that vacant offices are available at the Lacombe Memorial Center or that a portable trailer can accommodate administrative staff for clients. They say working from home is also an option.
Councilor Reuben Konnik spoke in favor of the renovations.
“When I was first elected, there were 10 years in the capital plan to replace the hall. Here we are, 12 years later, and that hasn’t happened and if you look at the new 10-year capital plan, there’s still no plan for a new city hall,” a- he declared.
“Unfortunately, it’s going to cost a few dollars, but we’re here, easily, for the next 20+ years, so anything we can do to increase safety, increase employee satisfaction, and make better use of the space I’m in favour.”
Councilor Don Gullekson was the only councilor who was not in favour.