The St. Helena City Council will hold a special meeting at 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 6, at the firehouse to discuss whether to lease part of the Napa Valley College Upper Valley Campus to serve as a City Hall.
After a Dec. 18 HVAC malfunction damaged the old City Hall, the council will discuss whether to repair the building, repair the former CDF building that’s functioning as a temporary City Hall, and/or lease part of the Napa Valley College Upper Valley Campus near the Pope Street Bridge.
According to a staff report by City Manager Mark Prestwich, the city has already spent $13,000 related to the failure of one of City Hall’s HVAC units, which produced smoke that spread throughout the building.
It would cost another $40,000 to make the building operational and allow staff to move back in.
According to Prestwich’s report, the city has spent about $200,000 on the building over the last four years to replace three HVAC units, replace carpets, repair a breaker box, and replace flooring that was damaged by a sewer overflow that closed the building in February.
Meanwhile, the former CDF building needs at least $80,000 in immediate repairs.
City officials have had preliminary talks with Napa Valley College President Ron Kraft about leasing a portion of the Upper Valley Campus on College Avenue.
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“It appears available NVC space is easily configurable for City Hall operations and would provide the opportunity to co-locate staff (excluding Police) from at least three separate buildings into a single building, providing efficiencies for staff and customers,” Prestwich’s report states.
Prestwich said he anticipates one-time relocation costs of less than $100,000.
The lease would involve the main campus building, not the kitchen and its associated classroom used by the Napa Valley Cooking School.
The cost of the lease has not been announced, but Prestwich recommends leasing city-owned space at 1574 Railroad Ave. (Parks & Recreation), 1572 Railroad Ave. (Public Works), and the Carnegie Building to offset the cost of the lease.
The college lease would be for three to five years, which would give the city time to plan and build a permanent City Hall, estimated to cost between $12 and $20 million.
The Public Works, Finance and Planning & Building departments are temporarily located in the former CDF building at 1572 Railroad Ave. The city manager and city clerk’s offices are temporarily located in the firehouse training room.
The firehouse is at 1500 Main St., but the council meeting will be in the training room off Railroad Avenue.