Town of New Tecumseth to convert former Alliston school into new town hall

New Tecumseth town council voted in favour of converting a former school in Alliston into a new town hall, with the winning tender coming in at $14.5 million.

The current town hall was built in 1986, and according to Mayor Rick Milne, it isn't big enough anymore.

"The population then was about 8,000. Now we are around 41,000, and it's time. We need a bigger building," he said.

The money to pay for the new town hall will come from reserves and debentures, but some in the community believe the funds could be better spent.

Joe Feiner is a community activist who completed a two-week hunger strike hoping to sway the council's priorities.

He wants a referendum.

Feiner works in construction and has a long history of volunteering in community service organizations. He believes the project will cost more than $20 million with the inflated price of materials.

Feiner wants council to put money into health care, and said town councillors have ignored his and others concerns.

"This council cannot be trusted anymore," he stated.

The Alliston Union Public School has been vacant since the municipality purchased the property in 2016.

Milne said the town plans to utilize some of the existing structure to create a new facility in the centre of town, adding the door is now closed to debate.

"We all don't agree on everything, which is great, but at the end of the day, council does walkout as a unit, and we support whatever the majority of council is," the mayor concluded.

With the tender awarded, construction could begin as early as mid-July.