With the pounding of the gavel at the end of the city council meeting on August 27, Blaine’s H Street city hall closed out its last official public meeting. Just before the next council meeting on Monday, city staff will throw open the doors of the new city hall with a ribbon cutting and reception.
The public was invited to tour the new building Tuesday and Wednesday before renovations were completed. City manager Gary Tomsic led tours of the third and fourth floor of the Banner Bank building, which the city purchased in March.
The new space will house all city employees currently at the H Street location, along with four planning staff members who previously worked out of a separate office. The third floor will house the city’s finance, administrative and planning offices along with the utility billing office and service desk.
The fourth floor will serve as the council chambers and municipal court – a dual-purpose room that can also be rented out for community functions.
Once the new city hall is fully operational, public access to the fourth floor will be limited to council and court chambers during public meetings.
Tomsic is most excited about the new space for the planning staff. Currently, residents who need to review building plans with city staff are relegated to a small counter in the midst of other work areas, making it difficult to look at large blueprints and plans, Tomsic noted. But now a large, dedicated counter will give planning staff and residents space to work.
Tomsic also pointed out another clever solution to an annoying problem. A room on the fourth floor (as well as some space on the roof) is leased by T-Mobile for cellular service. Because of the equipment it housed, the door to that room needed to be kept open. However, Tomsic struck a deal with T-Mobile whereby the city would pay for air conditioning to be installed in the room, and T-Mobile would allow the city to house its server equipment in the unused space. As a result, Tomsic said, they now get to keep the door closed.
There will be an open house at 4 p.m. on Monday, September 10 on the 3rd and 4th floors of the 435 Martin Street, followed by a ribbon cutting at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers on the 4th floor. For more information, visit cityofblaine.com
or call 332-8311.