01/08/13 — Pikeville eyes possibilities for new town hall

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Pikeville eyes possibilities for new town hall

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on January 8, 2013 1:46 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Pikeville Town Board member Lyman Galloway is proposing that the town buy a new modular home to use as its new town hall.

The 2,080-square-foot building would be erected on a lot owned by the town across from the current town hall. Total cost of the project would be $259,000, including laying the foundation, landscaping and building a parking lot.

Galloway made his proposal at Monday night's town board meeting. He said he was offering the plan as an alternative to previous proposals. Town officials have considered rebuilding at the site of the old town hall, buying a building across from Charles B. Aycock High School or keeping the existing town hall in the smaller mobile home on West School Street.

Galloway said he had considered supporting buying the building across from the high school, but understood citizens' opposition to moving the town hall outside town limits. A number of residents spoke at a meeting last year against the proposed move.

"I urge the rest of the commissioners to look at my proposal and to bring up their own ideas," Galloway said. "Let's get everybody in and get serious about it and see what we can do."

Town board member Robert Hooks agreed the board needs to move forward with some plan for the town hall, which now is located in a single-wide mobile home.

"Eventually, we will have to do something," Hooks said.

The town would have to get a government loan to make the project a reality and Town Administrator Kathie Fields said it was too late in the annual funding cycle to aim for the money this year. But she said the town could prepare a proposal for the coming year.

Mayor Johnny Weaver said he believes the town must include the old town hall building, which has been condemned, as part of any plan for a new structure. Weaver indicated he is in favor of tearing down the old town hall in downtown Pikeville and rebuilding at that site. The town needs to show its commitment to its downtown area, he said.

Board member Ward Kellum disagreed with both ideas, saying that with the slow economy he does not believe the town should do anything for the time being except keep up the existing town hall.

"I don't see us doing anything except what we've got to do," he said.

Hooks said the board could consider the proposals as they prepared the coming year's budget and it was suggested that a work session on what to do about the town hall could be part of those discussions.

Board member Charles Hooks asked that Ms. Fields come up with three cost proposals for tearing down the old town hall and have them ready by the next board meeting. Board members agreed that the old police department portion of the old town hall is still structurally sound and that it would not be part of any demolition.

In other business, the board set a public hearing for its February meeting on a proposed change to the train speed limit through town. The change would bring the speed limit for trains in line with federal rules, which call for a 40 mph limit.