Tribune-Courier News Editor
Few remember when the city of Hardin moved to its current City Hall, but they are anticipating a new City Hall in 2012.
Mayor Randal Scott and Dan Oldham, city clerk, said City Hall had been at 90 Commerce Street for as long as they could remember. The current building has no dedication plaque to identify when the city office opened.
Scott said the city closed on the former Hardin branch of the Marshall County Library about two weeks ago. The city plans to convert the building to the office by November or December. The city purchased the building for $35,000, half its appraised value.
“A lot of what we need for our use is already here,” Scott said. “The city clerk will have an office. The check-out counter will serve as a reception desk. Our council meeting room will be two to three times larger than what we have now.”
Scott added that shelving the library left behind would be used for filing. In the cramped building now serving as City Hall, file boxes are stored in the council chambers, the hallway and in restrooms. The city administrator will also have an office.
Changes to the building will be minimal. Scott said county workers will help install interior walls in the library’s former main meeting room. The walls will partition the area once occupied by the stacks into a reception desk, the mayor’s office and a file room. With the walls and some electric, and the discounted county labor, Scott anticipates spending about $5,000 on the remodeling. Carpet in high-traffic areas will be removed and replaced with tile similar to the entry foyer.
Other aspects of the building remain serviceable. Scott described the roof as good and the building to be compliant or grandfathered according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“The heating and air has some years on it, and we might eventually need to replace it, or it could give us several years,” Scott said.
According to the library’s dedication plaque, it opened in 1975.
City Hall houses Hardin’s administrators, and is the location for water, sewer and gas billing. Once the city moves to the new building, it will sell the old one as surplus property.
“At that price, it was a no-brainer,” Scott said.