New Celina city hall plans back on track



CELINA-Aldermen approved a new firm as the city’s engineer for the construction of the new city hall on city-owned property just off the square at their February meeting held earlier this month, putting plans to construct the building back on track.

Mayor Willie Kerr told the HORIZON Monday “plans fell through with the first” firm hired back in December of last year and explained the city had been in the process of finding a new engineer for several weeks now.

“We are now looking at a two-story building to bring the front entrance up to street level,” he said, “and this new firm is going to help us do that.”

Alderman Joey Locke made the motion to approve Neal Westerman of James C. Haley Engineering Firm as the new engineer, with a second by vice-mayor Donnie Long.  The motion carried with alderman Donald Haston’s support.

Mayor Kerr said he hoped the total price would be “real close” to the amount of insurance money the city received after their prior location was destroyed by fire last June, paired with grant funding from the USDA Rural Development program.

The minutes from the meeting said the new engineer “has been working on and has sent in the environmental study,” and “is currently working on the cost” of the project.

“It’s a good possibility they will be able to present the cost and plans at the next meeting,” Kerr said.

In other action, the board of mayor and aldermen:

• discussed the possibility of zoning laws being implemented inside the city limits with no action being taken on the matter, but Kerr said Monday he “wanted to take a little more time to consider the costs and process involved” before the city “jumps into this,”

• discussed the possibility of “developing McMillan and Washington Streets into one-way streets,” with Kerr saying he “wants pavement work completed before” doing so and “wants to get feed-back from residents” about the change, but he did say “he will place the request on the March 9 agenda,” and

• Kerr “was pleased to finally announce the city has been told the Clifton Rich Road water project will begin accepting bids March 8.”

The city council meets the second Tuesday of each month at the current City Hall location on the square at 5 p.m.