The ever-growing city of Greenwood is out-growing its city seat of government.
City council, by a recent 7-0 vote, again is putting a toe in the water to test public reaction.
So what makes council members think things are different from six years ago, when plans for a new city government building were defeated?
Then the idea of replacing the old City Building in the center of the city was beaten down.
Since then, officials have been providing city services through 10 departments in at least four buildings spread miles around and costing $180,000 in annual rent.
Only the offices of the mayor, clerk-treasurer, human resources and sanitation business office occupy the two-story structure in Old Town. The second floor council chambers and the large meeting room in the basement take up a large amount of space, which is only used for a small portion of the time.
At this point, however, no decision has been made as to where the government center will be built or what the final cost will be. Mayor Charles Henderson and others have mentioned that a newly built city building should remain in the central section of the city to anchor the redevelopment of Old Town.
Right now, action is strictly an exploratory move on the part of the council.
But it’s the intriguing offer from a developer that has the council looking again at another move to build a government center. Dan Cartright of D & S Investments, New Whiteland, said he would donate his services for a study into whether a new city building is necessary.
Such a study could be completed by January. The building design would be aimed at serving the needs of Greenwood for at least 20 years, he said.
Cartright said the second phase would be to come up with a conceptual design, and that would cost $72,000. He said the city could lease the new building from D & S, which, in turn, would return the building to the city when the lease ends.
The current City Building would be used as a credit toward the lease. Cartright suggested that the current building could be remodeled into an upscale multi-family apartment building.
Council president Ron Deer, who headed the exploratory building committee of council members Ron Bates and Monica Magna-Rees, said the feasibility study by D & S would help the council decide whether to build a new city building without incurring any cost.
Magna-Rees said she liked the idea of consolidating city departments under one roof and that the move eventually would result in the city owning the building.
Councilman Brent Corey said the city could provide better customer service and greater efficiencies if city offices were consolidated into one building.
Currently located in buildings outside the City Building are legal services, community development services, sanitation field operations, street department, police and fire departments, information technology fleet maintenance, parks and recreation department and city court.
Councilman Bruce Armstrong received assurance that the feasibility study first phase would not require any money at this time.
D & S, a commercial development company which has operated on the Southside for 20 years, has developed at least two buildings in Greenwood, including Greenwood Springs, a commercial/medical complex.
Developer Cartright was accompanied by Mike Cope of Meca Design of Greenwood, who designed building plans in 2002.
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