EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) --
Facing a big decision, the Eugene City Council narrowed down the future of City Hall by taking one option off of the table on Wednesday.
Councilors voted five to two to eliminate EWEB's riverfront building from the choices. That means the next Eugene City Hall will be built at its existing site at 777 Pearl Street downtown.
Councilors will go back to the roundtable again in January 2013 to figure out if they'll build a completely new structure on the existing site or if they'll do an extensive remodel of the existing 60s-era facility.
However, some people were expecting that City Hall would be a done deal by the end of Wednesday's work session. Councilor Mike Clark made several remarks about his dissatisfaction with the Wednesday decision only being a site decision and not a building decision. Clark wanted to wrap the process up with the last meeting in 2012.
“I am sure that we'll have a good city hall, whichever option we finally choose. I am just disappointed how we made a selection to winnow out one of the options today,” said Mike Clark.
Councilor Betty Taylor expressed a similar sentiment, calling it a monumental moment that she “agreed with Councilor Clark, for once”.
However, Mayor Kitty Piercy and a few other councilors want at least one more meeting on the topic. The next goal is to figure out what would or would not happen under each project. City councilors have now directed the City Manager's office to research more details of each option.
"I want to be sure that we take time to think about other things: do we try to have a community room where people can have meetings or a cultural center? Do we try to do a farmer's market? And we have all of those kinds of discussions ahead of us too,” said Kitty Piercy, Mayor of the City of Eugene.
When councilors return to the City Hall discussion, they'll do it without councilor Pat Farr. Farr will join the Lane County Board of Commissioners in January, replacing outgoing commissioner Rob Handy.
Before the end of the meeting, Mike Clark made a motion to push for a final building decision, opting to choose an extensive remodel of the existing City Hall. The motion gained support from both Betty Taylor and George Brown; however there weren't enough votes to pass.
Pat Farr, who would have been a tie-breaking vote, expressed interest in voting for Clark's motion. Farr said that he was reluctant to vote against the motion, but ultimately did, saying he thought a little more deliberation about the future of City Hall would be “okay”.
Councilors will meet again in the first few weeks of January 2013 to talk about the future of City Hall. A final decision could come at that time.