Post Falls voters will decide the fate of Old City Hall in the November municipal election.
At a special meeting Wednesday, the Post Falls City Council unanimously passed a resolution to place the issue on the ballot.
But council members added a caveat: Voters will also be asked if they’d approve paying additional taxes to cover the added expense of keeping and maintaining the structure.
Initially, the city would need to shell out $1.2 million to bring the building up to code and make necessary improvements and another $59,000 a year to maintain the building, said Eric Keck, city administrator.
The issue came to the council after petitions circulated by Bob Templin in summer demanded the city “preserve and maintain” the late 1970s-era building for use by social and civic groups.
Templin, founder of Red Lion Templin’s Hotel on the River, said he’s happy voters will have a say in the matter.
But the petition’s signatories, he said, didn’t include any reference to tax increases.
However, council President Scott Grant said the city will face a financial crisis if residents vote to keep the building but fail to approve a raise in taxes.
Should it come to that, Grant said, the city would be forced to lay off employees, including patrol officers, scale back snow removal, stop improving city streets and cancel capital projects.
Templin maintains the $1.2 million figure the city is tossing about is “totally exaggerated.”
He thinks future renters in the building would pay for many of the necessary improvements.