Repairing or rebuilding Union Gap City Hall could cost millions

UNION GAP, Wash. -- Repair or rebuild? It's the question facing officials over the future of Union Gap's city hall. It closed over fears of dangerous mold. KIMA obtained an architect's report that says what needs to happen before the building could be used again. It details exactly what is wrong with City Hall and what it would take to remodel or rebuild. An entirely new building would cost millions.

It's a been a year and a half since Union Gap City Hall went dark. "No Entry" signs are still pasted on the door and windows. City employees have been forced across the street.

But, Council Member Mark Carney says changes are coming.

"Something will happen in this building."

What that something will be is up in the air. According to this architect's report, problems with the building abound.

The lack of accessible restrooms, issues with the roof, outdated plumbing and lighting to name a few. Another red flag raised points to too much carbon monoxide entering the building from traffic on Ahtanum Road.

Then, there's the need for more space to hold the city's different departments.

"You have to have a place for the government to function," says Carney.

As for the mold, the report recommends a comprehensive attic examination and some demolition.

Now, for the money.

Demolishing the building would cost more than $250,000. It's $700,000 for a minor remodel. A million for major work. And a new building raises the price to between $2 million and $3 million.

Carney favors a major remodel. I asked him whether raising taxes to help fix the building was out of the question.

"For me personally? No, because I understand and look at things from a practical point of view."

Mary Sperle lives a block away from City Hall. She's doesn't want higher taxes and thinks the building only needs minor work.

"It's a brick building. It looks nice. They just to need to remodel inside a little bit. And, if they don't plan on using the library any more, they can extend their offices into that."

Another option City Council could consider.

Union Gap City Council will address the report at its next meeting. Council Member Carney doesn't expect any immediate action.