VALE — If the plans which Vale city officials have launched are carried out, Vale will soon have a new City Hall, to replace the current one built in 1938.
The new building which the city plans to occupy is not new, as officials plan to move into the Umpqua Bank Building, located along Longfellow Street, between Washington and A Streets. The Vale branch was vacated last fall, when the bank consolidated operations in Malheur County to its Ontario branch.
The Nyssa branch is also closed.
While the final documents and purchase still have to be approved, the Vale City Council gave its informal consensus for the process to move forward.
Vale City Manager Russell Kirkpatrick said at the council meeting, that while the current City Hall is ADA compliant, senior citizens still have a difficult time getting into it to handle business or pay their utility bills.
The new facility is on one level, for ease of access and has a drive-up window, so residents would not have to get out of their vehicles, Kirkpatrick noted, and the location is between the city’s main streets. It is 20 years old, Kirkpatrick said.
The refinancing of the loan on the wastewater treatment plant and proceeds from the sale of city property form the basis for the financing of the purchase, which is being facilitated up front by a loan of $400,000 from D.A. Davidson, a financial services company.
The proposed purchase price is $450,000 and the accumulative savings on the loan refinancing will be $500,000.
It was also announced the city will not have to go through a formal appraisal process, saving it some additional costs.
“The city can afford it,” Kirkpatrick said, commenting there may be opportunities to sell or lease space in the existing city hall. The target date to complete the purchase is in August.
During the public comment period, Rick Dentinger, Vale businessman, said he was supportive of the idea of a new city hall but did not want to see private property taken off the tax roles if there was an alternative.
“I hate to see it take up prime real estate, he said. “It hate to see the city give up tax money.”