By KATE COIL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Nearly one year after city leaders voted to move Princeton’s city hall to a new location, renovation of the structure has yet to begin.
The Princeton City Council voted 4-3, on Oct. 24, 2011, in favor of moving city hall to the former First Community Bank building on Mercer Street. Renovating and purchasing the building will cost the city an estimated $2.5 million.
City Clerk Ken Clay said the architect hired by the city council is presently working to design renovations for the building.
“The architect for the project — E.T. Boggess — has been chosen, and they are working on plans for the structure,” Clay said. “No work has been done beyond that. When the plans are finished, they will begin bidding out for contractors. The company has not yet given us a date for when they believe the design will be finished or when it will be presented.”
Mayor Patricia Wilson previously told the Daily Telegraph the $2.5 million purchase and renovation price of the new municipal will be paid off in 15 to 20 years with the city paying between $13,000 and $20,000 a month to cover the costs of bonds taken out on the project.
The new municipal building will belong to the Princeton Building Commission, which will lease the building to the city until the bonds on the structure are paid off. At that time, the commission will pass ownership of the building to the city of Princeton.
When the renovations are complete, the city’s municipal employees as well as Princeton Police Department will be moved into the new building. The Princeton Fire Department will remain at the present municipal building pending further discussion.
Council members including Dewey Russell, Christopher Stanley, Jimm Norman and Wilson voted for moving the municipal building from its present location on Courthouse Road to Mercer Street to help revitalize the area. Council members Timothy Ealy, John E. Wilborn and Vice Mayor Marshall Lytton voted against the move, citing it would cost the city too much money.
— Contact Kate Coil at firstname.lastname@example.org˓