Measure 26-202 - November 2019 Special Election - City of Troutdale
City of Troutdale Old City Hall Reconstruction General Obligation Bonds
Question: Shall the City issue up to $7,300,000 of general obligation bonds to reconstruct the Old City Hall building? If the bonds are approved they will be payable from taxes on property or property ownership that are not subject to the limits of sections 11 and 11b, Article XI of the Oregon Constitution.
Summary: If approved, this measure would finance capital costs to provide a reconstructed Old City Hall building and related improvements. The Old City Hall building is currently owned by the City, located at 104 SE Kibling Avenue.
Measure is expected to finance capital costs to:
- Demolish the existing building additions to excavate and repair the failing original foundation and water infiltration.
- Repair failing beams and other structural members.
- Make other needed repairs and make site improvements to improve ADA building access and designated ADA parking stalls.
- Construct a parking deck on the City parking lot across the street.
- Make other needed repairs and make site improvements.
The Bonds would mature in twenty-one (21) years or less from issuance date and may be issued in one or more series. The bonds are estimated to cost $0.28 per $1,000 of assessed property value. For a home assessed at $200,000, the estimated property tax for the bonds would be $56.00 per year or $4.67 per month. Actual rates may vary based upon interest rates and changes in assessed value.
Measure 26-202 would authorize the City of Troutdale to issue and sell General Obligation Bonds up to a maximum of $7,300,000 to reconstruct Old City Hall. The term of the Bonds would not exceed twenty-one (21) years from issuance date and may be issued in one or more series.
Estimated Tax Rate
If the City issues the maximum amount of the Bonds authorized by this Measure, the tax rate is estimated to increase approximately $0.28 per $1,000 of assessed value, or about $28.00 per year for every $100,000 of assessed value. For a home in Troutdale assessed at $200,000 the estimated annual increase in property taxes would be approximately $56.00 per year, or $4.67 per month. Payment on the bond would begin in fiscal year 2020-2021.
The Old City Hall building is located at 104 SE Kibling Avenue and is currently owned by the City. The reconstructed facility would meet some of the current space requirements of City Hall functions.
The Old City Hall building has been at its current location since 1923. The existing building is 96 years old. Based on structural engineering assessments, the building official determined the building was unsafe due to identified serious foundation and structural failings. Internal scaffolding was erected to prevent the failure of a main structural beam in the Council Chambers, and the building was vacated in 2012. City Hall services have been dispersed to multiple locations.
The City Council has considered various assessments, studies, reports and plans received from structural engineers, developers and architectural firms regarding the Old City Hall building. In April 2019 the City Council determined to put the choice of funding the reconstruction of Old City Hall to the voters.
The proposed project is expected to demolish the two existing building additions, from the 1970’s and 1980’s along the South and East sides of the building, in order to excavate and repair the failing original foundation and water infiltration. Approximate floor space of the demolished additions are expected to be reconstructed. Repairs to the failing beam and other structural members are anticipated. It is anticipated the building would be upgraded to improve support for wind, snow, earthquake, and ice structurally loads, but would not meet the essential facility design standards. The electrical, heating, air conditioning, ventilation and plumbing systems are intended to be replaced. The project is expected to remove some of the already insufficient adjacent parking stalls in order to provide improved ADA building access and designated ADA parking stalls. A parking deck on the City parking lot across the street is also expected to be constructed adding approximately 19 spaces.
The proposed reconstructed facility would allow some of the prior City Hall departments to return to the building, and be optimized to provide a City Council Chambers and Municipal Court Room, reception and cashier desks, and administrative space for some City staff. FFA Architecture and Interiors, estimates that the reconstructed facility would have a useful life of 20 to 30 years.
Ed Trompke, City Attorney
City of Troutdale
Just as important as saving Edgefield was 30 years ago, or preserving the Historic Columbia River Highway, we have never gone wrong saving our history.
It was in City Hall that the battle to preserve Edgefield played out and history was saved. With simple grange-style architecture, it is the last original city hall in East Multnomah County. Built by the community, it is where local government took place, court was held, and where we voted. It hosted union meetings and dances, laughter, arguments, and some nights, incredible boredom. Gradually city offices needed more space leaving only a bit of old dance floor intact in Council Chambers.
In 2012, the historic Hall was evacuated due to structural damage discovered from a fire decades earlier. Since 2012, the city has spent over half a million dollars renting office space.
A “Yes” vote will restore the historic building to meet today’s building and earthquake standards. Administrative functions and Council Chambers would return “home” to the historic, modernized Hall.
A “No” vote will continue to rent space costing approximately $75,000 annually and pursuing a new, more expensive building later.
We believe the measure Troutdale City Council has placed before voters is the best option. We already own the site, parking lot, and adjacent property. This bond will preserve an historic building with a rich history and enhance our small town charm.
- is the most cost effective option;
- eliminates paying rent;
- returns administrative functions from 6000sf rented space to our 8800sf historic Hall;
- eliminates the need to propose a new, more expensive City Hall later;
- adds 19 parking spaces/fulfills ADA requirements;
- restores life to the east end of downtown;
- provides option to expand on adjoining city property;
- may qualify for Historic Landmark status and grants.
A “Yes” vote supports history, enhances our charming downtown, and is the most cost effective solution for a permanent, and historic City Hall.
Erin Janssens, President
Troutdale Historical Society
(This information furnished by Erin Janssens, Troutdale Historical Society.)
ARGUMENT IN FAVOR
Measure 26-202 Restores Troutdale’s Old City Hall – It preserves our history and saves money! Please VOTE YES.
As your city councilor, I have always favored returning Old City Hall to its original function. Troutdale already owns the building and land, and also owns adjacent land for future building expansion. Restoring Old City Hall has always been the least expensive option, compared with building new.
The Old City Hall building was originally built to be Troutdale’s city hall and was a friendly, charming, adequate city hall for over 85 years. Other than some minor additions, little was spent on the structure during all those years. Once refurbished, and with normal maintenance, it will continue to serve Troutdale for another century.
The Hall was vacated in 2012 because roof trusses were failing and the city has since been renting office space, at increasing cost.
Troutdale government needs to return to a city-owned city hall. The best, and by far the least expensive way to do that is to refurbish our Old City Hall building, which is what Measure 26-202 does. The bond will update the building’s mechanical and IT systems to serve in the 21st century as a comfortable working space for our great city staff and officials to interact with citizens. It also makes the Hall fully ADA-compliant.
Let’s save this piece of Troutdale history and return City Hall to the use it was built for. It will save taxpayers every year by reducing or eliminating the need to rent office space for city personnel.
Old City Hall was built as a community effort by Troutdale’s citizens. It has character. It has history. Old City Hall is a symbol of what is best about Troutdale.
Vote YES on Measure 26-202.
Troutdale City Councilor
(This information furnished by David Ripma.)
One of the arguments in favor of restoring Old City Hall has been that it eliminates the expense of currently leased office space. According to the 2019-2020 City budget, a combined total of $62,440 has been allocated for that cost for the year. The estimated cost of a bond to the taxpayers is in the range of $400,000-$500,000 per year, for twenty-one years.
In a staff report presented to Council on 3/14/19, FFA Architecture and Interiors “estimates that the reconstructed facility would have a useful life of 20-30 years.” How many of you would sign onto a mortgage which foresaw your home having reached the end of its useful life at the same time that the mortgage was being paid off?
The estimated bond cost is $0.28 per $1,000 of assessed property value, or $56.00 per year for a property assessed at $200,000. While about $1.00 per week might seem like a minimal amount, keep in mind that the tax burden will apply to the property for twenty-one years, exceeding $1,000 total before it has been paid off. Also, there is no guarantee that the entire project will be completed for the requested bond amount. The City would have to cover any cost over-runs.
The other major argument for the restoration is that it will allow “some” staff consolidation in a single location. While this would be the immediate effect, the proposed structure would be marginally adequate from a space-needs standpoint. While all inter-related staff should ideally be in a single location, having staff dispersed should not present insurmountable obstacles with all the digital forms of communication now available. Staff has managed successfully since 2012 under the current arrangement.
Is it worth this amount of taxpayer funds to refurbish a nearly 100-year-old, wood-frame building?
I strongly recommend a NO vote on Measure 26-202, as the proposal is not fiscally responsible.
(This information furnished by Paul J. Wilcox.)
The printing of these arguments does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the arguments.