Officials downplay talk of moving city hallBudget document mentioned moving city hall downtown
Rockland — City officials are downplaying reports they are considering moving city hall downtown, but the issue did come up during budget talks in May.
Mayor Will Clayton said Sept. 25 there are no plans to move in the immediate future.
"Analyze and explore the possibility of moving city hall into the downtown," was listed among long-term goals in a budget memo from City Manager James Smith in May.
Smith said this week there are no concrete plans for the move, no money set aside, no cost estimates and no proposed site.
Smith said if the right site presented itself, the city would certainly look into it.
City Councilor Larry Pritchett said members of the public often say the existing city hall is not a good location. Clayton echoed this, saying residents desire a location that is more friendly to foot traffic and away from the commercial and industrial traffic areas in the city.
Clayton said there has been no recent discussion at the council level about the possible move.
Pritchett said Sept. 24 there was some discussion on the concept of moving city hall when the city council was recently talking about plans to build a new public works garage on a site near the transfer station off Pleasant Street. However, he also said there were no specifics in the discussions at that time.
Since then, plans to move even the public works garage have stalled and that item will not be on the November ballot.
Clayton said the issue came up during budget discussions this year because the bond used to buy the city hall building will be paid off in the next few years, and the council was looking at long-term plans.
City hall is located at 270 Pleasant St. on a 13.55-acre parcel of land. The city purchased the property in 1995 from Camden & Rockland Water Company, according to city records. The property has an assessed value of $1,067,800.
Courier-Gazette Editor Daniel Dunkle can be reached at email@example.com or 594-4401 ext. 122.
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Daniel Dunkle is editor of The Courier-Gazette and news director for Courier Publications. He lives in Rockland with his wife, Christine, who also works for Courier Publications, and two children.
Dunkle has previously served as editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. He has worked as a reporter and photographer in the Midcoast for 15 years.
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