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Elevator prompts move of city offices
City Hall 2019.jpg
Without a working elevator, city offices have been forced to move from City Hall.

McMinnville government has officially moved from City Hall with the relocation of its Community Development Department as elevator issues continue. 

A failed elevator and lack of ADA compliance was the deciding factor to relocate all departments that provide services to the community. The Water and Sewer Department relocated to 202 Bell Street and Community Development moved this week to Belmont Drive.

“Are we going to address the elevator?” asked Alderman Everett Brock during Tuesday’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting. “It’s sort of like the elephant in the room. Nobody wants to talk about it. We’re going to have to do it sometime.”

Within the 2019-20 fiscal year budget is $90,000 designated for elevator repair. However, exactly what work needs to be done is unknown.

“Nobody has really said what they want to do with it and I don’t think there’s any good thing to do,” said Brock. “We can get it back working, but I’m not sure how long it will last.”

Alderman Kate Alsbrook asked, “Have we looked at total replacement cost?”

“It was $150,000 or something,” said Brock. “The problem is it wouldn’t be ADA compliant because the compartment would be smaller.”

Alsbrook asked, “So renovation is the only option?”

“We would have to chop through walls and that’s just not financially feasible,” said Brock.

The city has contacted two elevator companies. Both offered opinions, from renovation of the existing elevator to complete replacement, and price ranges for the work.

“If Regions Bank leaves, and we are 99 percent sure that they are going to, and we move people downstairs, that elevator will be used a lot less,” said Brock. “The less it’s used, the longer it will last. It was used daily many times because everything was on the second and third floor.” 

City administrator Nolan Ming offered to contract another elevator company and obtain a third opinion for officials to consider.