What does the future hold for the Princeton Court House building?

A 23 page report containing the Building Condition Assessment of the Princeton Court House was released at the regular meeting of Council

Mayor and Council of the Town of Princeton are looking at options for the future of the Princeton Court House building.

Mayor and Council of the Town of Princeton are looking at options for the future of the Princeton Court House building.

Prior to the regular meeting of Council on May 6, 2013 a Public Hearing was held in order to consider proposed Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 870, 2013 (Boundary Extension) and Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 875, 2013 (Overwaitea).

Properties that were once part of The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, but were brought into town with the Boundary Extention were placed into the Low Density Residential  (LR) land use category; 20 parcels in the Airport Road area were placed in the Country Residential (CR) land use category; 10 parcels in the Jacobsen Road area – (CR) and industrial lots in the East Princeton area into the Industrial (I) land use category.

Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 808, Amendment (Overwaitea) Bylaw No. 875, 2013 is to correct a previous error with the plan. The former Overwaitea store had been placed in the “Administrative/Institutional” land use category and should be placed in the “Town Centre” land use category.

As there were no petitions, delegations or letters sent in to speak against the amendments, they each received third reading during the regular meeting of Council.

A 23 page report containing the Building Condition Assessment of the Princeton Court House prepared by David Nairne & Associates Ltd., was released during the May 6 meeting of Council.

The report states that the Court House building located at 151 Vermilion Avenue is in “fair overall condition.” However, the building requires, building envelope repairs, structural, mechanical and electrical upgrades as well as environmental remediation.

In 2003, the Town of Princeton acquired the Court House building for the sum of $112,000. The “purpose-built” two-storey wood fame building was constructed in 1929/30. The annual operating cost is approximately $12,220. Current usage exists of a few days per month to house Provincial Court.

The estimate provided to bring the building up to code to serve as Town Offices (proposed by Council at an earlier date) would be approximately $791,000, not including the costs of moving or new furnishings.

In his report to Mayor and Council, Interim CAO Bob Wilson states, “ In my view, I don’t see the economical value in spending that amount of money on a building that is 85 years old.” “I think Council would be wise to continue to investigate options of a building specifically designed and constructed as a Town Hall,” he added.

A motion made by Councillor Marilyn Harkness and seconded by Councillor Jason Earle in agreement with Staff recommendation will see the Town cease all future capitol expenditures on the building; release the Building Condition Assessment to the public; look at the possibilities of putting it up for sale and invite public comment on the future of the Court House building.