CBJ holds webinar on plans for a new city hall

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The City and Borough of Juneau held a webinar Thursday about a proposed new city hall in downtown.

    The CBJ is considering a ballot proposition to construct the new building at 450 Whittier Street. CBJ staff has been seeking public input on conceptual drawings, renderings, and cost estimates.

    Katie Koester, the CBJ Engineering & Public Works Director, hosted the meeting. She said that, along with the need for a new facility, the current one needs upgrades as well.

    "We're looking at building a new city hall at a new site, but really we need some TLC for the existing city hall," Koester said. "The current facility is over 70 years old. It's a converted fire hall, which is why there are no windows in Assembly chambers. It needs a lot of maintenance. It needs about $12.5 million to be invested into it to get another 25 years out of it."

    Koester said city offices could be consolidated by having a central city hall.

    "Currently, city offices are spread between five buildings downtown, four of which CBJ rents," she said. "So vacating these offices would free up 20 apartments in downtown Juneau for space, and we're spending about $820,000 a year on rent."

    A new city hall would be a cost-saving measure, in the long-run, according to Koester.

     

    "So, when you take the the capital costs that we need to invest in our new city hall, and the rent that we're paying every year, it really makes fiscal sense for the city to own its own city hall and office space," Koester said.

     

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