Council Gives Smith OK to Move Forward on New City Hall Plans

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Bids to construct a new Hermiston City Hall are expected to go out this summer with a contract awarded in the fall, said Hermiston City Manager Byron Smith.

The Hermiston City Council gave its support Monday night for Smith to move forward with plans for a new 22,000-square-foot building to be constructed at the current city hall location. That building was heavily damaged by smoke in a fire that broke out back in December. The building, built in 1965, has been all but vacated since.

In February, the council voted to build an entirely new city hall at a cost not to exceed $9 million.

The project also includes renovating the Hermiston Public Library. That work is expected to begin in August, said Smith. Final renovation designs should be ready in June. Parts of the library are currently being used by city staff until the new city hall can be finished sometime next year. The renovation will give the library needed additional space for its growing number of programs and materials.

The Hermiston Municipal Court will be located in the new city hall and Umatilla County, which will contribute to the cost of the construction, will also share office space in the new building. Moving municipal court into city hall will free up space at the Hermiston Police Department, where court is currently held.

Monday’s council meeting was, again, held at the Eastern Oregon Trade & Event Center and streamed live on YouTube to keep within the government-mandated social distancing guidelines.

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