Energy efficiency will be a priority when the District of Elkford builds a new multimillion-dollar office in June.
The council has budgeted $2.495 million for the project, including moving costs, and is applying for grants to help fund energy-saving features such as solar panels.
It received two proposals to design and build the new office on Fording Drive, with Scott Builders and Cover Architecture submitting the lowest bid of $2.15 million.
Elkford Mayor Dean McKerracher said the building would be designed as close to “net zero energy” as possible, meaning it would generate as much as energy as it consumed on an annual basis.
“The new office will be brighter with more windows and as many of the new technologies to save on energy costs,” he said.
The current district office was built in 1972 and requires significant renovations, which council officers estimate could cost up to $732,810.
McKerracher believes a new office is the best way forward.
“We have been sinking repair money into the old office since I have been the Mayor for 12 years,” he said.
“If we were to repair or rejuvenate the old office for $750,000 to $900,000 we would still have a 46-year-old building that would have to have more work in a few years.
“The new building will give us many more years without needed repairs and who knows what we will find if we were to open up walls or the roof.”
Council staff will remain in the current office until construction is completed in January 2019.
The fate of the old building is yet to be decided.
“I would think the next council will have long discussions on it,” said McKerracher.