The decision by Vine Grove City Council and Mayor Pam Ogden to seek feedback about what to do about its tattered city hall may not have sealed a definite direction for the nearly 80-year-old former school house, but it has shown there is plenty of interest about the next move.
About 40 residents attended a town hall meeting and many offered opinions of what needs to be done to city hall, where floors are bulging, the exterior is peeling, there’s moisture beneath it and it’s not fully accessible to the disabled.
It’s an eyesore, no doubt.
City leaders sought input after two years of bouncing ideas around like a steel ball in a pinball machine. It has been the elephant in the room at most council meetings.
Water bills for residents this month will include a questionnaire listing three options to further pursue feedback.
The city is considering tearing down part of the current building and making city hall about 15,000-square feet; tearing down part of city hall and have an 11,000- to 12,000-square-foot building; or creating a new structure on property where the police department and public works will be located on Highland Avenue.
All of those options ranged in price from an estimated $2.3 million to $3.3 million.
Councilman Kristofor King also wanted the city to explore estimates of an even smaller city hall of around 5,000-square feet.
Whatever the city does, it will cost plenty and council members said they have no interest in raising taxes to pay for it – instead they’ll consider making cuts to an already tight budget.
The town hall put council on the right track with many thought-provoking questions about their impending decision. The next step is finalizing a direction and figuring out a way to pay for a new and improved city hall.
That decision needs to be made before the new budget cycle begins in July.
This editorial reflects a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.