City of Nelson’s formal proposal on sharing space in the White Building has been delivered to the Regional District of Central Kootenay.
The details of the report were discussed by Nelson council in-camera (privately) prior to their regular meeting Monday, and councillor Donna Macdonald confirmed that the city will not be releasing the proposal to the public until after the RDCK has had a chance to review it.
She did, however, share a general overview of the report during the public meeting.
“Essentially what is contained in the proposal is the outline we presented to the regional district back in October, with more details,” said Macdonald who is the alternate director for Nelson on the RDCK board (the primary director, Mayor John Dooley, is on vacation).
“We’ve used their space planning information to do a proposed layout of how the regional district offices would fit in this building, and we’ve identified shared spaces that we could use jointly, as well as their own dedicated space.”
The proposal includes adding a reception area in the front lobby, as well as increasing signage, to assist the public in finding the part of the building they are looking for.
Currently the White Building houses municipal and provincial government services, while the regional district operates out of the Pink Building, near the Home Hardware Building Centre on Lakeside Drive.
The regional district has nearly outgrown its current office space and is looking for ways to expand, with the help of an independent consultant. Options include reconfiguring the current office space to fit more desks, or moving into a new space.
Nelson stands to benefit by having the regional district in the White Building because it would fill otherwise vacant office space and create opportunities for shared services.
Macdonald believes it would be good for regional district staff as well.
“It’s a great work environment here and it’s close to many amenities,” she said. “It’s spacious and bright — a Class A work environment.”
City manager Kevin Cormack added that the White Building is well used by the public. City of Nelson officers alone see around 45,000 in-person visits per year, and Service BC and other tenants get at least another 30,000 visits annually, he said.
“People come to this building all the time, whether it’s to pay their property taxes or pay a parking ticket. Or get their driver’s license renewed or get a marriage certificate.”
The proposal was delivered to the RDCK today. It will be evaluated by their consultant and presented to the board of directors at an upcoming meeting.