Camas Community Features Local News

Camas City Council Approves $1mil for City Hall

The Camas city council has approved one million dollars to renovate the city hall. 

Specifically, the lobby of the hall and the accompanying annex were scheduled for construction over the course of 28 weeks. While the people who work in the hall itself are excited for a new interior, some of the people living in Camas aren’t quite excited about money being spent on construction by the city council. 

The construction site itself might be a reason for concern in the community, as the hall is in the center of the town. Some might also be cautious of council spending with the recent controversy over Proposition 2, which would have allowed $78 million of taxes to be acquired over a 21-year span.

The current front of the Camas city hall. Courtesy. Camas-Washougal Post-Record

While it might be understandable that some people are concerned about construction congesting the road outside of the hall, city council members argue it will not be an issue.

“Because it has its own parking lot, it should not impact traffic in any way,” said city council member Greg Anderson.

With its own lot for construction, the town should run as smoothly as it normally does.

With the high price tag of renovating the city hall, many have asked: “Is it really necessary to rebuild the hall right now?”

City council member Ellen Burton said the building was “packed.”

“It’s full of people. If you look at the building, people are packed over each other in parts of the building that were never intended for anyone to work in,” Burton said.

The members of the city council argue the state of the hall is affecting the efficiency of work in the building. It is important to the city council that the center of the city government is kept in good shape to keep everything running smoothly.

Some are unhappy as they see this as unnecessary spending on top of the already expensive seventy eight million dollar pool that is being built here in Camas. The main reason the pool had already angered people was that the city had to resort to increasing the taxes of everyone who lives in Camas to pay for a community center that may not be used by everyone who paid for it. 

“When we build a fire station, we do not ask the citizens: “Will you pay for it on a bond measure?” We just do it because they would say no. We don’t raise taxes, we do it out of tax revenue” said Greg Anderson, a member of the city council. 

The promise that no taxes will be raised is encouraging to some, yet a lot of people are still suspicious when the city council uses its authority to work on projects.

While the pool is still to be the biggest point of contention in the community, the city council will always be ready to receive negative feedback on its decisions regarding spending. As the year goes by, the city hall will have construction crews working on it whether or not everybody agrees that the money should be spent towards it.

Featured Image: A potential plan for the redesign of the city hall. Courtesy. City of Camas

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