City of Italy Town Hall Meeting discussions regarding Old City Hall building

Image: The Historic Italy City Hall

The Historic Italy City Hall (Karen Mathiowetz)

The City of Italy held a town hall meeting on Monday night to share information they have regarding the Old City Hall and Police Department building. They also asked the citizens for input on what they would like to happen. The city offices and police department are currently located at the Boze Community Center, 161 W. Main Street.

Mayor Cate told those in attendance that he wanted to share the information regarding the Old City Hall and said he would like to know what the citizens wanted the City to do about the structure.

The following information was provided.

The City received a letter from Freeman-Millican, Inc.on December 10, 2015 regarding their observations and recommendations for the Existing Italy City Hall Building. The engineer’s report from Freeman-Millican, Inc. notes the extensive damage to the structure which makes it unsafe. Because of their findings, the City received a letter from Texas Municipal League Risk Pool with their decision of a claim the City filed on their insurance.

[Click Here to view PDF copy of Letter from Freeman-Millican]

TML Risk Pool stated that "the adjuster’s report indicates that the damage was the result of wind-driven rain entering around the seams of the metal roof.” They went on to say that the loss is not covered by the Risk Pool.

[Click here to view PDF copy of denial letter from Risk Pool]

The City has been pre-approved for $500,000 in Obligation Bonds for 15 years at an interest rate of just over 3%. The payments on that amount would be $45,500 per year with the first payment due April, 2019. This would not cause a tax increase.

The city has received one bid and are waiting on two more. If the original City Hall can be restored, it will cost between $500,000 and $675,000. That figure does not include any work on the Police Department building.

Another option was discussed that would cost $470,000 to $500,000. If the façade could be saved on the building, demolition could be done on the rest of the buildings and a new steel building could be built behind the front wall. The City Hall and Police Department would have separate entrances and separate spaces.

A third option was also discussed. The Cornerstone building on Main Street is for sale and owned by Central Baptist Church. The price of the building is $160,000. It was stated that if the city purchased the building they would need to spend an additional $50,000 to use it for a city hall. If this happens, the dilema remains of where to house the police department and what to do with the old City Hall and P.D. building.

They discussed possibly housing the Police Department in the old Fire Station on Harpold Street. It was said that the City would have to spend $150,000 to bring it up to code and fix what would need to be fixed.

The city will wait on the remaining two bids before any decisions are made.