By News-Register staff • 

Carlton meeting looks at plans for new city hall


CARLTON -- Citizens can learn about tentative plans for a new city hall and police station at a community meeting scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15.

The informational session will be held in the Yamhill-Carlton Elementary School gym. Snacks will be provided.

City manager Chad Olsen said city staff and council members will be asking citizens what they want to see included in the project, as well as determining their level of support.

The project is in its initial stages. City hall staffer Megan George has been meeting with an architect to draw up tentative design options. The council hopes to review the tentative stages of the design and decide whether to go ahead in February.

George said the idea is to build a new building with more work space, especially in the police department; to improve technology, seismic strength and security; and to provide room for larger meetings.

Current council chambers offers room for only about three dozen members of the public. When the city budget committee -- made up of seven councilors and seven other citizens -- meet, the room is almost full.

That's why meetings expected to draw larger crowds, such as the community meeting scheduled Tuesday, are usually held in the grade school gym.

The current police department, located on the west end of city hall, also is very short on space, George said. It includes the chief's office and a small room in which the two officers work. Storage and evidence areas are tight.

George said plans call for building a new city hall in the same location as the current one, on Main Street just east of downtown. The earliest groundbreaking could be is two years from now, she said.

Olsen said he'd like to see a new facility completed within five years.

It will be "a pretty key centerpiece for the community over the next 100 years," he said.

The timeline depends, in part, on financing. Olsen said the design will help determine construction costs. Funding will come from the general budget and the water and sewer funds, since much of the work that goes on in city hall is related to those areas of the budget, he said.

The city council is appointing a citizen advisory committee to work on the project. Three members have been named, and additional names may be added at the council's Dec. 6 meeting. Scott Carl has been named council liaison.