June 24, 2022
At recent budget sessions held in May 2022, Victoria County Council concluded the cost to repair and upgrade the Municipal Building for continued long-term use was not a fiscally viable option. Council agreed to explore more cost-effective options and look for potential buyers for the building. The decision was made following a facilities assessment that was initiated in 2021.
JS Held completed the facilities assessment on the municipal-owned building and reported to Council at public council sessions that the cost to repair and upgrade the municipal building was estimated north of $6.5 million. A new building is estimated to cost approximately $4 million. An option to rent office space is also being considered and the proposed new facility in Baddeck is a potential location. A decision to demolish the existing building and rebuild in the same location was not considered to give others an option to own and maintain the historic building.
Victoria County Council recognizes the historical and cultural significance of the building in the Village of Baddeck. Many factors were considered carefully when deliberating during budget sessions.
The facilities assessment to look at the long-term viability of the building was prompted by the Nova Scotia Accessibility Act which aims to have all municipal facilities to be inclusive and barrier free by 2030 for staff, residents and visitors. The reality is that the building cannot adequately accommodate the upgrades required to comply with provincial standards. For example, the building cannot accommodate an elevator inside the existing structure, and one would have to be constructed outside of the building structure. This is only one example of many that is required to comply with the new building codes that have been released. More changes to codes to include accessibility standards are being developed and will be released prior to 2030.
Ultimately Victoria County Council made a decision that is financially prudent based on the facilities assessment report and recommendations and is fair to all municipal taxpayers.
The facilities assessment report is available in the resources section found on the bottom of this page. Updates on the future of the municipal office building will be posted as they become available. Should you have any questions please contact your district councillor.
JS Held final report on the Victoria County Municipal Building
Victoria County Council Meeting Minutes
Access by Design 2030: Achieving an Accessible Nova Scotia
Victoria County Accessibility Plan
Request for Proposals: Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Services
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About the municipal building
Built in 1889, the two-story municipal-owned building was constructed in the Classical Revival style. It is located at 495 Chebucto Street in the Village of Baddeck and is a significant landmark in the village, being a focal point on the main street. Since its construction in 1889, the building has served multiple purposes, including its original intent as a court of law and the seat of the municipal government for Victoria County. Renovations over the years included a west wing added in 1967, an accessible ramp in 2020, updates to council chambers in 2021 and maintenance and repairs as needed.
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