In a special work session Tuesday afternoon, the Laurie Board of Aldermen reviewed progress on the remodeling work being done on the new city hall.
The board approved a real estate contract to purchase the Re/Max office building on Main St. (Highway 5) from the Bank of Versailles in May.
City Hall will eventually be moving to the lower level of the office building, and the city will continue to rent out the top level where the Re/Max offices are currently located.
Renovations are now underway to complete the partially finished lower level and set up offices and meeting space.
The remodeling work is being undertaken by the Bank of Versailles with input from the city, but the costs will be passed on to the city in the final closing price.
Mayor Herb Keck estimated the cost for the building, renovation and move would be around $500,000 in cash.
When the contract was approved in May, the city agreed to pay $350,000 cash out of reserves for the building and sign over the current city hall building on the north side of town to the bank.
An appraisal of the Re/Max building in the last year estimated a value of approximately $1.6 million, according to Keck. The building is more than 16,000 square feet total with each level providing about 8,000 square feet of space.
With rent from the upper level, Keck said the city will be able to pay back the sewer reserve fund in approximately 10 years.
The property does not include highway frontage. The front part of the site along Main St. has been sold to a developer.
With a delayed arrival of some fire-rated doors, the time frame to close the deal and move into the new space is fluid.
Keck said he hopes to have the new city hall open around mid-October.
There are two main areas in the lower level. On one side will be the municipal court room that will also serve as meeting space and community room. There is also a fully equipped kitchen at the back of this area and bathrooms. The police department will be located on the other side as well as offices.