Post Falls has called a special City Council meeting next week to consider an ordinance to save City Hall, which is scheduled for demolition after a larger, new building is finished in the spring.
The Wednesday meeting will revolve around an eleventh-hour petition asking the city to adopt a law requiring it to “preserve and maintain” the aging 7,500-square-foot concrete-block building.
Bob Templin, founder of Red Lion Templin’s Hotel on the River, headed up the petition drive over the summer.
If a majority of the council votes to deny the petition’s request, the matter would automatically be placed on the November ballot, said Eric Keck, Post Falls city administrator.
That would give voters the final say in the building’s fate, Keck said.
But the timing of the petition has caused concern within city government.
Last year, the council determined it would be cheaper to tear down the structure, built in 1979. At a public hearing on the matter, there was no opposition to that plan, Keck said.
Saving the building would create “financial chaos” in the city’s budget, Keck said. New utility hookups would have to be rerouted, and expensive repairs would need to be made to keep the building habitable. He said the city would have to foot the bill for all the work on the structure as well as its future maintenance costs.
Yet Templin maintains residents should have the final say in whether the building is held for use by civic and social service groups.
The fact that more than 500 residents signed the petition is evidence of community support for preservation, Templin said.