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ICYMI: City wants to bring back staff to former headquarters

There's no more space at City Hall, so the City is looking to move some staff to 8 Carleton Street; 'There are concept plans being developed'

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: A version of article was originally published by ThoroldToday on September 15.

City Hall is growing and they’ve run out of space. That's why they’re looking to bring back staff to 8 Carleton St. in downtown Thorold.

Back in 2006, Thorold moved all of its operations from 8 Carleton St. to their current location on Schmon Parkway, after a renovation of the old City Hall was deemed too costly. 

In the years since, the building on Carleton St. has undergone major improvements and it is now the home of the Thorold Senior Citizens Association. 

The second floor of the building, however, has been sitting empty for quite some time, making it the perfect location for a second City Hall.

The matter was discussed behind closed doors during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, because the different short-term solutions for the lack of space involved various rental rates.

When councillors returned to open chambers, the possible renovation of the second floor of 8 Carleton St. took center stage.

The City’s CAO Manoj Dilwaria explained that it would take up to a year to get the building ready for staff, as new flooring and washrooms would need to be installed.

“There are concept plans being developed and at that point we might have a better idea what kind of realistic timelines we’re looking at,” added the City’s Director of Development Services, Jason Simpson.

Those plans are expected to be completed by the end of October.

“The office space at 8 Carleton would need to accommodate helping customers as well," Simpson continued. "A large part of the renovations that are required would need to be in place before we moved people over there to be able to function.”

Because of the present lack of space, City Hall is hoping to secure a temporary second location for its staff overflow. There’s just some uncertainty about the duration of the lease.

“We could always go for six months and then, if required, we can have an extension of three months or whatever in time,” said Dilwaria. “The situation on the ground is that we need something to be done now.”

But Councillor Henry D’Angela wants so see a more detailed breakdown of the costs.

“These are some big numbers that are being thrown around and I want to make sure we’re getting value for our money,” he said.

In the end, a City Hall report with more information was ordered so councillors can make an informed decision at the next council meeting.

“I’m glad that we’re hiring staff and we’re growing,” said Councillor Mike De Divitiis, at the end of Tuesday’s discussion. “We’re filling our needs so that’s some great news.”

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About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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