City council met in its chambers for the first time in nearly two years to the day Monday night, with renovation all but complete on Owen Sound's City Hall.
It was on Oct. 31, 2016 -- Halloween -- when council last met at City Hall before re-locating meetings to the Bayshore Community Centre for the past two years as renovations went on at the municipal building.
Deputy Mayor Arlene Wright is pleased to attend a meeting at the renovated City Hall prior to the end of her term.
Last night's meeting was the penultimate one in the 2014-18 term of city council.
"I'm happy to be in here before my term is up. I was getting a little concerned and thought maybe I wouldn't get here," Wright chuckles. "But, I'm very impressed. I think they've done a really nice job."
Staff have been working at City Hall's temporary location in the Professional Centre since the $8.7-million renovation began in November 2016.
Owen Sound Manager of Property Kristan Shrider says renovations at City Hall are "very, very close to being complete."
She says the city obtained a temporary occupancy permit to host last night's meeting.
"There are still a few more outstanding items to finish before the city gains full occupancy," Shrider explains. "We're hoping to start getting staff in here in the next couple of weeks."
Shrider says the updated Owen Sound City Hall features enhanced accessibility, energy efficiency and functionality.
"If you remember what old City Hall looked like prior to the renovations, not as welcoming when you walk through those doors," she says. "I think you'll see when you walk through the entrances downstairs it's quite open and welcoming."
Shrider notes the project remains on budget.
Owen Sound Director of Community Services Pam Coulter shared during the council meeting a public open house is being planned for Nov. 24 at the newly renovated City Hall.
The old City Hall was built in 1965.