At a special meeting Wednesday evening, the Laurie Board of Aldermen authorized Mayor Herb Keck to close on the purchase of the Re/Max office building at 147 S. Main St. from the Bank of the Versailles.
The board is trading in its current city hall building at 724 N. Main St. to the bank to move city hall to the lower level of the new location. All city operations, including the police department, municipal court and public works, will be based in the new space which is accessed from the back of the building.
There will be two main areas of City Hall in the lower level space which is about 8,000 square feet. The municipal court room that will also serve as the meeting space and community room will be on one side with a kitchen and bathrooms. The police department will be located on the other side as well as individual offices.
The city plans to continue renting out the upper level space where local Re/Max realtors currently office. With rent from the upper level, the city plans to pay back the reserve fund that is funding the cash payment in approximately 10 years.
According to the final amounts in the authorization ordinance passed Oct. 30, the city is purchasing the new space for $734,000 less $200,000 for deeding over the old city hall building to the bank. Another $2,000 was designated to pay title insurance, closing fees and taxes.
Expenses from extensive remodeling to prepare the lower level of the building to house city hall totaled about $234,000 of the overall $734,000 building cost, putting the cash expense of the building itself at approximately $300,000 with the trade-in of the current city hall.
The city plans to have the offices moved Nov. 5-6 with the phones being transferred on Nov. 6.
The cost to move along with related expenses will total around $22,000, according to City Clerk Olive Wood. That includes moving the police radio tower, phones and equipment.
The closing is tentatively scheduled for Friday afternoon.
There was some concern at the meeting over last minute details of the closing, including getting lien waivers and final approval of the renovations that the bank had had done.
If lien waivers are not available in time for the closing, the board agreed that the city could move forward with an indemnification agreement.
The contractor for the remodeling is still finishing up a punch list of items that need to be done prior to the moving date, according to Public Works Director Ed Young.
The city is also receiving an easement across property still owned by the bank between the building and the highway. At a future date, the board plans to put in a roadway from Highway 5 to its parking lot behind the building.
Page 2 of 2 - The board had approved moving forward with the deal to purchase the office building from the bank in May.