DENHAM SPRINGS - The city is moving on to the next part of their journey.
The purchase agreement for the new city hall was given the green light at Tuesday night's council meeting. Up next? Renovations to the inside, and outdoor improvements.
The city will pay Capital One roughly $760,000 for the property. The original offer was $1 million, minus lease payments, although the building appraised for a range between $1.1 million and $1.4 million.
Funding for the purchase came from FEMA reimbursement after the city took cash from the emergency management agency for turning old city hall, the old street department building, and the old fire station administration building in exchange for demolition and turning those areas into green space.
While those buildings flooded Denham's new city hall did not.
The money from FEMA for the demolition of those buildings leaves about $1.7 million for renovation and area improvements. Mayor Gerard Landry said that renovations will hopefully begin soon after the purchase agreement is official, with the city focused on turning the inside of the building into a better flow and structure for a city hall, as opposed to a bank.
According to the mayor, several hundred square feet are currently under utilized, and the roof needs repair. Entry and exit is also confusing, especially for court and city council meetings.
All of that is subject to change.
Area improvements are, according to the mayor, the city's attempt to invest in the downtown area. Funds that are left over after renovation will be used to create green space, improving parking, and creating areas for community gatherings.
Several groups from LSU's engineering and architecture schools have made presentations to the city regarding their vision for improvement in the area which includes more green space, seating, and pedestrian friendly areas that include small parks.
All of those designs come with an aspect of drainage management.