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City Hall Plans Moving Forward

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City Hall Will Be Built with or without State Funding

Mayor Shelton committed at Tuesday’s Council meeting that the construction of a 17,000 square foot city hall is going to move forward. In contrast to his 2014 statement that “With only three city employees, no one has convinced me of the necessity for a multi-million dollar project for a City Hall”, Mayor Shelton promised at Tuesday’s meeting that “Whether we get the money from the state or not, we are building City Hall.”
In 2015 the city reported that there was a $1,994,613 million commitment from the State of Louisiana for funding for the acquisition, design, and construction of a 9,895 square foot City Hall. That state funding was the basis for the $2 million City Hall originally proposed under the Watts administration, funded almost entirely by the state. The project has grown significantly, from the 9,900 square foot building at a cost to Central of $157,000, to its current 17,000 square feet with a probable cost to Central exceeding $5 million. 
Mayor Shelton went on to explain at Tuesday’s meeting: “We don’t know if it’s going to work. We won’t know until this session is over how much they are going to give us, but the reason they took over $1 million away from us is because we sat on it for over 8 years and didn’t do anything.” The Priority 1 State Capital Outlay money reached $200,000 under the Watts administration but then rose during Shelton’s administration to $1.14 million in July of 2015, with an additional $765,000 in Priority 5 and potentially available for the project.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the Council approved an additional payment of $97,000 in architect’s fees for construction plans. The total bill for architectural services will be $381,694 for the project, with approximately $90,000 being reimbursed by the state.
Mayor Shelton also announced that in April he will be requesting $285,000 to purchase two acres from the School System at the corner of Hooper and Sullivan for the building. Adding land and architectural services to the estimated $4.7 million construction cost, the total project stands at approximately $5.4 million. Any Capital Outlay money from the state to offset this cost should be known by June.
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