Why a new administration building now?
Currently, the County maintains 6 administration buildings. The Caledonia building, which is leased, costs taxpayers over $240,000 annually in rent, while the other buildings are nearing the end of their useful life and require significant capital improvements. By consolidating these 6 administration buildings, the County will achieve significant cost savings and work efficiencies while providing residents with one stop, full service. No longer will residents have to visit more than one building to obtain building and planning permits, licenses and information that may require support from multiple divisions.
Why was Cayuga selected as the Central Administration Building location?
The Cayuga location is under the ownership of the County. It is central to the majority of the County for clients that desire or require municipal services in person – within 15 to 20 minutes for the majority of County residents. It is also familiar and consistent with the historical context of Cayuga as the County seat. A Cayuga location was the strongest preference indicated by community stakeholders. Further, this site takes advantage of the existing parking lot and storm water management pond
Can the County afford this building?
Yes. A comprehensive cost comparison of maintaining the status quo versus building a new administration center showed significant cost savings in the long-run. The County’s main administrative building in Cayuga is now 50 years old and at the end of its useful life, requiring significant capital work. Over the initial 20 years, the new administration building costs are approximately $10.4 million more than maintaining the existing buildings, including all borrowing costs. At this point, 20 years post-construction, the building will be fully paid for. Over the following 30 years, the existing administration buildings have no value as they are at the end of their useful life. The new building, however, based on a value of $16 per sq/ft, is in the area of $15.5 million cheaper than maintaining the existing administration centres. Of course, today’s $16 sq/ft value will be much higher 30 years from now, so that amount will only be heightened. This does not take into account the expected operational savings over the entire 50 year period.
Aside from cost savings, what other efficiencies will be achieved?
There will be savings from reduced staff mileage (no more travel time between buildings), and boosted productivity + collaboration due to staff being co-located. Due to the efficiencies of staff being located in one facility, it is expected that there will be cost savings over time through attrition.
Will the construction of a new building prevent the County from addressing other community priorities?
No. The investment in a new, centralized Administration Building will not affect County investments in other major infrastructure priorities. By consolidating to a single building, the County is actually building a more efficient foundation to financially support the provision of day-to-day public services and long-term Council priorities.
Will the construction of a new building affect my taxes?
The County takes a long-term planned approach to providing services to the community. The new building will not alter the County’s long-range, multi-year planned impact on annual property taxes which has to-date maintained County property taxes below the Provincial average.
Will the rise in interest rates affect the financing of the building?
No. County staff had forecasted the trend in higher interest rates and made all financial calculations based on those higher forecasted rates.
Will municipal services still be available in my community?
Yes. ‘myHaldimand’ or ‘myHC’ community hubs will soon be open for use at all local libraries. Dunnville, Caledonia & Hagersville hubs are now available for use and Selkirk, Cayuga & Jarvis hubs will be open shortly. ‘myHC’ community hubs are computer and information stations designed to connect residents with County news, information and access to online services. For residents who are not familiar with online services offered, such as paying taxes or water bills online, library staff will be available to provide guidance on how to utilize them. Additional 24/7 online services (such as applications for certain permits) will be introduced in the near future.
What are the specs of the new building?
The building is a 42,900 sq.ft, 3-storey design with an 11,400 sq.ft basement with features to accommodate future expansion.
What is the total building project budget?
- The total project budget is $20.94 million. $19.5 million of the total project budget is directly associated with construction of the building – engineering, site servicing, furnishings & equipment, moving costs, etc).
- There is a $1.75 million project contingency.
- A full budget breakdown can be found at ca/HCAB.
As of opening day (February 25, 2020), what work is left to be completed?
There will be some outstanding construction work, finishing touches and fine-tuning ongoing for the next few weeks, including: work on ground floor windows, signage installation & Council Chamber millwork installation. Additional sodding & landscaping work will take place in the spring, as will final paving of the parking lot and Chippewa St. Installation of the Haldimand County Administration Building sign and flag poles will also occur in spring. All municipal services will be available in the new building as of February 25; service delivery will not be impacted by outstanding construction or installation work.
Will there be a public grand opening celebration?
Both a building dedication and grand opening celebration will be held once all finishing touches on the building are complete. Details will be announced in the near future.