The mayor of Kings County is confident a new complex to house municipal offices can be built before staff must move out of their current building, even though final decisions on a new location have been delayed.
The municipality has been in its current building in Kentville since 1979. Last year, it sold the property to Nova Scotia's Justice Department and the province wants to take it over by October 2018.
Municipal officials had bought a property in Coldbrook and even began site preparations for the $7 million project to build a new municipal complex.
But the new building became an issue in the last municipal election because many voters felt there had not been enough consultation. The process was put on hold to allow staff and residents to have their say.
"We've had 175 people attend the public sessions and 4,000 hits on the website," said Mayor Peter Muttart.
Councillors still considering options
There are now other locations in the running, including Kentville and New Minas. Muttart said there could be a number of possible partners for the project, depending on where it's located.
Councillors are also considering whether the municipality's public works operation should be included on the same site as the administration building or kept separate.
"We've had a lot of feedback on that point, so that is still in the mix," said Muttart.
Consultations began in March. They've been extended so councillors can attend another workshop on the location options. Final decisions are now not expected until July.
Still, Muttart is not worried about meeting the province's deadline as long as construction gets underway by September.
"This is not the Halifax public library, much as we'd like to have one," said Muttart.
The money for the project will come from reserves and from the sale of the original municipal building.