Wheels set in motion to build new Celina city hall

 

By KEVIN DONALDSON

CELINA-New city officials in their first meeting last Tuesday took the initial step toward finding a permanent city hall home. 

“I’ve talked to a lot of citizens and they’re wanting city hall moved uptown,” said mayor Willie Kerr. 

Aldermen Donnie Long (vice-mayor), Don Haston and Joey Locke voted to look at the lot adjacent to the fire hall just off the square as a building spot. The lot is owned by the city.

The former city hall building, which also housed the Clay County Rescue Squad, was destroyed by fire in June, just three days after the city election.

City engineer Neal Westerman, who also spoke to city officials on a variety of other projects at the July meeting, will begin what he called a “preliminary evaluation” of that spot as a possible building site. 

“We need to sit down and determine what your needs are” for a new city hall, Westerman said. A two-level building with a drive-thru window for bill payment was discussed as a possibility. “We need to look at the site and make sure (a building like that) will fit,” Westerman said. 

The city will be receiving an insurance settlement soon to help in building the new structure. A preliminary payment of part of that total was expected last week. A temporary city hall has been set up in the Eads building on the square, and insurance money is paying the $700 monthly rent. There was no rent charged for the first month in return for improvements made by the city on the interior, officials said at the meeting. 

Westerman also briefed the new officials about ongoing city projects, including water line replacements and tank repairs or replacements. See more details on that in a future edition of the HORIZON.