By Ann McCreary
Efforts to acquire state funding to repair Twisp Town Hall are on hold, probably until next year, according to Mayor Soo Ing-Moody.
A request for funding to replace the current town hall building was included in the Legislature’s capital budget, but that budget was never approved before the legislative session ended last month.
“Unfortunately, in a rare occurrence, the state Legislature was unable to mutually come to a consensus about a supplemental capital budget this year, resulting in none having been adopted, which means that all project requests, including the Town of Twisp’s Town Hall, did not get funded,” Ing-Moody said.
Ing-Moody had gained the support earlier this year of Rep. Gary Condotta (R-East Wenatchee), who represents the 12th legislative district, to include a funding request for initial design of a new town hall building. Application for construction funding would have been submitted later in a separate request, Ing-Moody said.
The mayor said she has been in contact with Condotta and state Sen. Linda Evans Parlette (R-Wenatchee) to discuss what happened in the Legislature and next steps for Twisp’s Town Hall funding needs.
“The plan as discussed with both legislators is that another request will be submitted for next year,” Ing-Moody said. “We’ll just have to keep trying, I guess.”
The funding request in the capital budget would have provided up to $222,000, based on reimbursement of actual cost needed, Ing-Moody said. “The request was for all phases and aspects of planning, review and design for a potentially new or partially new town hall facility and public works equipment facility.”
Problems with the town hall became evident three years ago when the roof began leaking and had to be repaired. Work on the leaky roof revealed a number of other issues with the building, including structural weaknesses, hollow exterior masonry walls, lack of adequate fire breaks, poor ventilation, uninsulated windows, and security issues in the council chamber.
Ing-Moody explored financing through grants or loans for the project, but was unable to find funding to repair the building.
Due to the extent of the problems with the existing structure, she said the solution would likely be construction of a new building.