City leaders discuss new city hall for Lexington

Published: Oct. 10, 2019 at 11:09 PM EDT
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City leaders are looking at options for a new city hall for Lexington.

But, if Lexington does get a new city hall, it might not be anytime soon.

On Thursday, council members met to hear from three working groups focused on finance, place, and use.

The current city hall, a former hotel, is more than 100 years old. And it doesn't even contain all of the city's employees.

Last year there was a discussion about moving into the Lexington Herald-Leader building, but that plan fell through.

They have two main options, move into an existing structure or build a new city hall, preferably on land the city already owns.

Council members say the upkeep on the current building continues to rise.

"If we stay where we are, we know that our maintenance budget is going to continue to go up dramatically. It’s not going up in a linear fashion anymore. Things that are going wrong are going wrong bigger and in a more complicated fashion because the building is a hundred years old and we are full every day," said council member Bill Farmer.

So moving could save taxpayers money in the long run.

But how much money the city could spend is a question that still needs to be answered.

"Basically, the outcome of today's meeting was to meet again next week with the folks who kind of shepherd our bonding. So we can kind of get a real feel for what a building, however tens of millions of dollars, what that would do to our bond rating, to our capacity. Kind of give us a feel for how to best move forward," Farmer said.

That information could shape the plans for the future of the city offices.