More from City Hall: Council support for moving City Hall, selling Lindsay Street properties

7:01 p.m.:

Interim City Manager Kevin O’Rourke is praising Administrative Services Director and Chief Financial Officer Mark Moses and other city staffers for their help finding an inexpensive computer system.

7:03 p.m.:

Former Assistant City Manager Gary Ingraham, who has been at City Hall for years, after retirement as a consultant, is in the chair. He hasn’t been there in a while.

“Welcome back to that seat,” Mayor Ann Johnston said. “I don’t think we have seen you there since we have come to the council.”

He’s being called a legend.

He is up to discuss the planned move of City Hall to Chase Bank Plaza. About 43 percent of the building is occupied. That is “not very much” of the building, he said. Lease income for next fiscal year is projected at $1.4 million. The city also stands to get about $400,000 in expense reimbursement.

Ingraham said one city goal is to reduce overhead. Another is to provide office space for a reduced workforce, he said.

The city owns City Hall the permit center, the Parks and Recreation annex and Al’s Garage around El Dorado and Lindsay streets. Annual savings in operating costs were estimated at $350,000 to $400,000 if vacated, he said.

Ingraham said he thought the city could see the Lindsay Street properties. Staff has an idea about value, but he said, “We don’t care to talk about it too much.”

In the event of a move, the council could use the bank building’s cafeteria as an interim site for council chambers. Or, he said, the city could rent a place.

He is estimating the cost are available. He to move all activities to Chase at $995,000. He said bond funds of $1.5 million from the initial bond sale are remaining.

Ingraham said it could take two years to sell Lindsay Street properties. He said revenue from that sale could replenish bond funds.

Interim City Manager Kevin O’Rourke said the existing buildings are inefficient. He said finding an alternative site for chambers for three to five years could send a message in a financial crisis. The city is not building a palace for the council, he said.

“This is not some big luxurious move,” O’Rourke said.

Mayor Ann Johnston is asking what would happen to the existing City Hall. O’Rourke said the city is proposing mothballing it.

City Councilwoman Susan Eggman said ‘to sit and do nothing” is a bad idea. To move now is a good idea.

O’Rourke said staff is inclined to start moving soon after the end of the year, but he said staff could move faster if council liked.

Vice Mayor Kathy Miller said, “I also support this.” Councilman Elbert Holman said he does, too.

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