Vale City Hall, built in 1938, will soon be empty after the city council approved a plan to buy the former Umpqua Bank building to replace it. (Enterprise/File)

VALE – The Vale City Council on Tuesday night approved a plan to buy the former Umpqua Bank building to replace city hall.

The bank building, at 150 Longfellow St. N., was assessed at $576,090 in 2018. The building is owned by Pioneer Bank of Roswell, New Mexico.

The city will borrow $450,000 from D.A. Davidson Companies, a Montana financial service holding company, to buy the building. The interest rate of the D.A. Davidson loan is 3.87 percent over 30 years.

The current city hall, at 252 B St. W, was built in 1938 and once housed the police department as well as city administrative offices.

Vale Mayor Mike McLaughlin said the sales agreement was signed Wednesday but probably won’t be finalized soon.

“I don’t know when we will take control of the building,” said McLaughlin.

McLaughlin said there are already some tentative concepts for the use of the old city hall.

“I want to retain ownership of the old city hall. I’d rather not sell it,” he said.

McLaughlin said officials want to rent the offices in the old city hall once the move is made to the Umpqua Bank building.

“Maybe we will even partner with the county, understanding they are somewhat challenged for space wise so they may be interested, we’ll see,” said McLaughlin.

The council appeared poised to finalize a deal on the purchase of the building in late June but balked to give City Attorney Larry Sullivan time to review the financial package for the sale.

“By us having to delay it for several meetings, we really had a good chance to think hard about it,” said McLaughlin.

Umpqua Bank announced in November 2019 it was closing its Vale and Nyssa branches. At the time, the bank said it would consolidate both branches into is Ontario facility. The Vale bank closed Nov. 21, 2019.

 News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected] or 541-235-1003.

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