Mayor Fernando Miguel said he is set to launch a series of consultations among local leaders and concerned groups in the city for his own proposal to transform the site, which will be vacated by the city government within the next three years, into a commercial landmark.
"I'm thinking of putting up a 12-storey or even taller commercial building that would become a symbol of our progress," said Miguel, who was reelected for a third term.
The mayor said he came up with such plan based on the priorities of his leadership, which is focused on economic and people development.
But he pointed out that it would eventually be the local residents who would make the final decision about the matter.
Miguel said there were proposals from several sectors to just preserve the site and convert it into a museum.
The present city hall site is just beside the city's central public market and located along Alunan Ave., the city's main commercial area.
Miguel said the city government may begin to move to its new site along the national highway in Barangay Sto. Niño in two years.
He said they expect the construction of the proposed P200-million modern city hall building to begin within this year.
Miguel said the city government already signed a memorandum of understanding with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) for the funding of the project through a loan agreement.
"I will soon seek an authority from the city council to allow me to negotiate the loan with DBP," he said.
The proposed new city hall building, which will be constructed in a lot purchased by the city government three years ago, will be a four-story structure with a basement.
Miguel said the proposed structure, based on their initial plan, will include modern amenities such as spacious conference rooms and offices and an elevator.
But he said they will re-evaluate the building's components after the completion of the loan negotiation since the computation for the cost of the construction was made last year.
"I will make sure that we will come up with the best structure because I consider this as my legacy to the people before I bow out of office," he added. ( Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)