DENHAM SPRINGS - The time has come.
On Tuesday, the city's council will consider and accept a bid to tear down Old City Hall, which has sat gutted since the Great Flood of 2016.
The flood event, which saw the Amite River crest at 46' and put 4.5' of water inside the building, set in motion a move for the city's governmental offices from that site - where they sat since the 1970s - to the new Capital One building between Range and Hummell.
The council approved a lease-purchase agreement of the downtown building, which did not flood, as the city decided what it would do with three buildings on Government Street that did flood - city hall, the street department headquarters, and the old fire chief's headquarters on the corner of River Road and Government.
The answer came when FEMA offered Denham Springs cash value for the three pieces of real estate, in exchange for an agreement that the three sites would become green space. The city, and council, agreed and intends to turn the area into a community gathering space, possibly including a pavilion.
Improvements will also come to city hall and the area the city owns in downtown. Denham Springs invited students from both LSU schools of architecture and engineering to come speak at a public meeting to offer up ideas for improvements to downtown - both in aesthetics, and drainage.
The combination of the two issues created some ideas from the students of the two different departments, including 'green infrastructure' improvements that reduced concrete usage and brought green space back to the forefront.
However, the mayor said cost might be prohibitive for early-adoption of some of the procedures.
In the mean time, the city will move forward with renovations to it's new office space using the cash funds provided by FEMA for the demolitions of the three buildings. The total capital outlay was nearly $1.5 million to the city, for the three pieces of property.
The meeting is set for 6 p.m. at the 'New' Denham Springs City Hall.