Vancouver City Council breaks in its new chambers

first_imgThe first vote cast by the Vancouver City Council in its new council meeting chambers Monday was a unanimous one — albeit it was to approve meeting minutes from Aug. 15.But, by the end of the inaugural meeting at the new City Hall downtown, the council had a dissenting vote, heard from concerned citizens and was back to business as usual.Vancouver is fully moved from five buildings spread out over 10 miles into one building, at 415 W. Sixth St., across from Esther Short Park.“It will be our new home for the next 50 years, no doubt about it,” Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt said as the meeting drew to a close around 9:15 p.m. “We start a new era. What a great overall morale builder and a great next step forward.”Just hours before the meeting was set to start, staff scrambled to unpack chairs and finish final details, while a group of neighborhood association leaders also got a grand preview tour. The official dedication and open house for the public will be Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.Vancouver purchased the six-story, 118,000-square-foot building from Bank of America in June 2010 for $18.5 million, more than half off the estimated $40 million construction cost. The building was built by Downtown Vitality Partners, a group that includes Columbian Publisher Scott Campbell, but was forfeited in early 2010 as part of a bankruptcy settlement. The Columbian had no stake in the sale to the city.last_img read more