Lexington’s city council is considering hiring a negotiator as part of the process in relocating city hall. A final vote on a proposed move to the Lexington Herald-Leader building is scheduled for Thursday night.
The city hall proposal has the city entering into a long term lease to own agreement, paying $5 million over 35 years. Ninth District Council Member Jennifer Mossotti won backing to move hiring a lease negotiator onto the meeting docket.
Mossotti doesn’t want to waste any time looking for potential buyers for the five city buildings which could be vacated with a move to Main and Midland. “Certainly don’t want to move forward and have five empty buildings that we’re going to heat, we’re going to cool, we’re going to maintain through a long period of time. And we have no idea what that time is. So, why not be proactive and put this on a parallel track,” said Mossotti.
If the current proposal is adopted, city officials say a move to the re-purposed Herald-Leader building would likely take two years.
City Lawyer David Barberie says it’s not realistic to think those buildings could be sold before the final agreement on the Herald-Leader complex is signed. “If you decided to dispose of them, there would still have to be decisions made as to whether police is actually going to go down there and things like that. So, there would be some of these buildings where potentially the decision may be to keep them, if you all move forward with the Herald-Leader site,” explained Barberie.
Mayor Jim Gray said the cost for a lease negotiator would likely be shy of $20,000.