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The Hamilton Spectator
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Wednesday June 13, 2007
Mayor Fred Eisenberger is urging council to spend at least $2 million to upgrade and green the municipal space as part of the overall City Hall renovation.

"It needs to be a gathering place," said Eisenberger, who is fighting for a comprehensive renovation after losing his bid to build a new centre.

Councillor Lloyd Ferguson would like to see a fountain that converts to a skating rink in the winter, similar to Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square. He's willing to cut back on costs on other elements, like the council chambers, to increase funding for the grounds.

"This is our showpiece ... It would be nice to have a focal point."

But Councillor Chad Collins is reluctant to invest in the forecourt, arguing the city has better uses for its limited funds. "It's functional now."

Council have approved spending up to $69 million to renovate City Hall, including fixing the forecourt. Some councillors say that price tag must be cut. They're willing to reduce the $2 million allotted for basic upgrades to the outside grounds. Source...

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Mayor: Too much concrete in front of City Hall