As many have read in the news article of July 30, "New Bountiful city hall construction could start next spring," the Bountiful City Council voted last week to proceed with building a new city hall, even though the cost has now doubled to $10.5 million (it was originally $4.6 million).
I attended the meeting where the vote was taken, and I left completely convinced that Bountiful does not need a new city hall. I was pleased to note that two of the council members (Fred Moss and Richard Higginson) voted against the plan. Unfortunately, their sound arguments fell on deaf ears and they were one vote short of a majority to stop the project. Those council members who voted for the project are Tom Tolman, Beth Holbrook and John (Marc) Knight.
It is unnecessary to construct a new building for $10.5 million when upgrades (IT and handicapped access) to the current building could be completed for maybe only $1 million or so.
The city proposes to vacate the current city hall and provide the space to the Art and History Center. That is a generous and workable offer, but the city could build a new center as well as an upgraded city hall for probably less than half the proposed costs of just a new city hall alone.
Moreover, most people I know believe the current city hall is beautifully sited, efficient, and capable of serving the city for many decades to come.
I believe in conservative use of taxes, and to me, the $10.5 million is reckless. Therefore, I invite you to contact the members of the city council with your questions about why the plan is going forward even though the cost has doubled. I believe there are far wiser and more conservative ways to use our taxes. Perhaps one of the council members will change their opinion. It only takes one person to change their mind in order to have a majority and stop the project. (And maybe their stance on this issue will influence who you vote for in the upcoming city election).