The Lexington council is once again looking into the feasibility of constructing a new City Hall in the downtown area.
Council approved a motion during Tuesday's work session to seek requests for proposals on such a project.
For years city officials have talked about high maintenance costs tied to the 12-story urban county government building on Main Street.
Previous consultant work included a proposal to convert the central library to a City Hall or build adjacent to it. But, those options didn’t get traction.
Lexington Chief Administrative Officer Sally Hamilton says developers have expressed interest in building a new City Hall while others have asked about the current home of city officials.
“Several people have come to us to talk about certain ideas that they have for City Hall and then we have had some people that have come to us questioning when we were going to sell our own building here or were we interested in selling that building,” said Hamilton.
The discussion at work session centered on a lease-to-own approach. That would involve construction of a new building in the downtown area with an agreement to lease it for a set number of years before fully owning the facility.
Council Member Richard Moloney asked about moving city workers in five current buildings including the 12-story government center into one new facility. Hamilton says it’s more likely some employees might be placed off-site around town.
Council Member Fred Brown says the first priority should be a new City Hall and secondary is what to do with the existing government structures.
“We need to move this along to where we’re talking about a new city building and how much space we want and we’ll worry about what we’ll do with the buildings after that, because there’s going to be a lot of people interested in that,” noted Brown.
Hamilton told council she could have more information back to members about a new city hall project in early 2018.