Porterdale mulls possible city hall purchase

PORTERDALE - Cramped quarters could become a thing of the past at City Hall. Following a suggestion at the Porterdale City Council work session July 1 by Mayor Bobby Hamby, the council agreed to consider the purchase of a modular building that would temporarily replace the City Hall building.

Hamby presented information to the council on the modular building that includes 11 offices, three teller windows, a night depository, a drive-up teller window, security system and more. The building, which is owned by McIntosh Bank and was used as the bank's temporary location while its permanent building was under construction, is located at 7200 U.S. Highway 278 N.E., Covington. The bank lists the book value of the building and its furnishings at approximately $217,000; however, Hamby said the price is negotiable.

Porterdale's City Hall is in a storefront building on Broad Street that was originally built as a pharmacy. Hamby said the building, which the city acquired in the late 1990s, is too small to accommodate all city employees. Three employees work out of City Hall, while the public works director, city manager, code enforcement officer and building inspector work out of City Hall Annex, a rented office in the renovated cotton warehouse next door, Hamby said.

Hamby said Thursday that purchasing the modular office building would mean that the rent being paid for the City Hall Annex could go toward something the city would eventually own.

In addition, he said, the new building would solve a convenience issue.

"At some point we know we need everything back under one roof," Hamby said. "There's been situations where there's information at one place that we need at the other one, and somebody has to run get it and things like that. It would work better if everything was in one area."

Hamby told council members Tuesday the modular building would be "strictly temporary" until the city can build a new city hall.

"I think it's an opportunity," Hamby told the council. "If y'all are interested, we will sit down with them and talk it out."

Alice Queen can be reached at alice.queen@rockdalecitizen.com.