walker city hall

The city administration will be taking steps at Monday's City Council meeting to build a new City Hall to replace the present facility, seen here on Florida Boulevard.

WALKER – The City of Walker has a “verbal agreement” to buy property for a new City Hall, Mayor Jimmy Watson said.

Watson did not identify where the property was, saying city officials were completing the paperwork involved to be reviewed by the city and the seller. The mayor did say the tract was more than 4 acres, which would meet the long-term needs of the city.

"We’re looking ahead for the next 20 years or more,” Watson said, "to prepare for the future."

Four items related to the proposed City Hall are on the agenda for the City Council meeting at 6 p.m. Monday.

Chief of Operations Jamie Etheridge is on the agenda to address the council to “approve expenditures of funds (for) New City Hall, according to the agenda.

The introduction of three ordinances also are on the agenda.

The first ordinance would authorize the purchase of 4.72 acres.

The second ordinance would adjust the city budget for $680,00 for 4.72 acres.

The third ordinance would adjust the budget for the capital outlay of City Hall.

Public hearings will be scheduled for all three ordinances.

In December, Watson released a list of city projects for the next two to three years, with the anticipated completion date of each one. According to that timeline, the city wanted to buy land for a new City Hall by April with the design for the new facility in place by November. 

By the end of 2020, construction would be under way, according to the deadlines.

City officials had looked at seven or eight sites over the past two years, Watson said in December, and had narrowed it down to possibly two. 

The new City Hall will be funded with the help of the Louisiana Local Government Environmental Facilities and Community Development Authority.

In September, the City Council approved joining the development authority and set the guidelines for a bond issue: no more than $10 million, an interest rate not to exceed 6 percent, to be paid off in 30 years.

First, the city would have to pass a resolution to seek bond approval for a project, then go to the state Bond Commission for its approval.

With that approval, the city would go to the development authority, which would help finance the bonds.

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