On Monday night, with a flutter of yellow ribbon and a proclamation by Mayor Harry Robinson, the city of Blaine christened the old Banner Bank building as its new city hall.
The newly purchased and renovated glass-front building stands four stories tall and offers sweeping views of the bay. This new space houses all city employees on the third and fourth floors, and the fourth floor offers an improved and modernized council chambers, which will play double duty as the county’s municipal court. It’s a huge upgrade from the old city hall, which was in use for 85 years, and city employees were excited about their new quarters.
“No one’s going to argue that we should have stayed [at the old city hall building],” Robinson said, citing renovation needs and space issues. “One by one the dominoes started to fall into place, and the next thing we knew we were starting to make the purchase.”
City manager Gary Tomsic said that more than 2.7 miles of cable had been installed to meet the city’s technological needs. But, even with that huge improvement, there was little hiccup in government function. With the move completed, city employees are now back at work and phone numbers and email addresses will remain the same.
As part of the festivities, Tomsic offered tours of the third and fourth floor to visitors during the open house, giving them the opportunity to see offices and conference rooms that they might not have the chance to see.
“It’s gorgeous. It’s a good value for the city,” said Blaine resident Kelle Sunter, after taking the tour. “There’s more parking. I think it’s going to be more comfortable for the people visiting city hall. It’s an investment in the future for sure.”