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Tours of City Hall continue Tuesday

December 11, 2010

By BRIAN HAWKINS
and KELLY DANIELS
Starkville Daily News

Very few residents took city leaders up on their offer to tour City Hall on Friday, but officials hope that will change on Tuesday.
Members of the appointed Municipal Complex Committee scheduled the tours in hopes of building support for a new facility after people see the cramped quarters in which many city departments work in City Hall.
Less than 10 people toured the facilities on Friday, but another round of tours is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. City Hall is located at 101 E. Lampkin St. across from First Baptist Church.
“The tours are intended as an opportunity to allow people to come and see the work conditions in City Hall and be better informed about what they will be asked to vote in the future,” said Chief Administrative Officer Lynn Spruill. “The tour is aimed at helping them better understand the environment in which most of our city departments operate.”
Among the City Hall offices visitors will see are those for the Police Department, Municipal Court, the Mayor’s Office, the Public Services Department, the City Clerk’s Office, the City Engineer’s Office and the Building, Codes and Planning Department.
Those attending the tours will be given a questionnaire asking them to give their overall impression of each of the departmental offices, whether they believe the city needs new or upgraded facilities, what priorities city leaders should set in meeting needs and what additional comments or suggestions they may have.
A floor plan of the existing City Hall structure is also being provided.
Members of the Municipal Complex Committee walked through the entire City Hall facility during their first meeting an decided to invite the public to take a tour with them.
“Walking through City Hall was an eye-opening experience, and the committee wanted get public feedback,” Mayor Parker Wiseman said last week.
The City Hall building was originally constructed in 1939 as an armory for the Mississippi National Guard, which donated the facility to the city in 1968.
Since then, the building has undergone various “face lift” renovations, but city leaders contend that the building’s interior structure is deteriorating.
As the city’s population continued to grow, the departments and their staffs have grown, as well as their duties. Many city employees share offices that once were closets or storage rooms.
Last week, Municipal Complex Committee members discussed potential properties as sites for a new facility, but have not disclosed the specific sites that were discussed.
The need for municipal government facilities has been discussed and debated at length over the last decade, with most of the initial focus being on few facilities for the Police Department and Municipal Courts.
For more information about Tuesday’s tours — which include refreshments — contact City Hall at 323-2525.

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