Groundbreaking held for new city hall

CELINA-Mayor Willie Kerr and other local officials were joined by USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode last Wednesday at the groundbreaking ceremony for a new permanent home for city services to be built here just off the courthouse square.

In June 2009, Celina City Hall was destroyed by fire set during a burglary.  Since then, local officials have been making do in a building here that previously housed a Chinese restaurant.

“A city’s success attracting and growing businesses has a lot to do with its ability to provide essential services like water and sewer, public safety, and administration,” Goode said.  “Building a more accessible, modern City Hall will bring these services under one roof and create a better place for people to come together for the good of their community.”

Federal funds for the project include a $180,000 low-interest community infrastructure loan and a $200,000 grant.

“This investment will help finance construction of a new 5,200 square foot facility to bring under one roof the city administration, records, utility services, police department and provide adequate space for public meetings,” Kerr said.  “Unlike the current temporary facilities, the new building will meet federal and state accessible regulations and includes a drive-through for utility customers.”

Officials expect construction to be completed later this year.

Others participating in the event included U.S. Rep. Diane Black’s Representative Michael Detwiler; Celina Aldermen Donnie Long, Joey Locke, and Don Haston; Police Chief Terry Scott; State Rep. Kelly Keisling’s Representative Steven Altum; Clay County Mayor Dale Reagan; Sheriff Brandon Boone; City Recorder Brent McCloud; and RD Area Director Jerry Jolley and staffer Chris Hampton.

USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, homeownership and affordable rental housing in rural communities.

Last year the agency assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses, investing more than $1.3 billion through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.

More than 86 percent of these investments are in the form of loans that will be paid back. The rest is at work creating jobs, broadening the local tax base and increasing opportunities in education, training, healthcare and public safety.

For more information on Rural Development programs available in the Upper Cumberland area contact the Rural Development Area Office in Cookeville at 931-528-6539 ext. 2, toll free at 1-800-342-3149 extension 1493, or visit us online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.

See a future HORIZON for details about the new structure and updates on the ongoing construction.