The Lexington city council has voted down a proposal to relocate city hall in the Herald-Leader building at the corner of Main and Midland. The dramatic vote came after weeks of wrestling over the matter.
While this plan to repurpose the long-time home of the local newspaper got traction this summer, the idea of finding or building a more suitable site for city government has surfaced off and on for years. But, when it came time to vote, Vice Mayor Steve Kay, an ardent supporter of the proposal, said the votes weren’t there.
“But, in the end, my concern was that it was not solid support and the project ultimately was not able to go forward,” said Kay.
The resolution failed 5-7 with Council Member Peggy Henson casting one of the no votes. “I have to believe that we can do better than 178 million,” added Henson.
The proposal rejected Thursday night called for $5.1 million dollars over 35 years. Council Member Kevin Stinnett favored moving forward with negotiations for that site. “This is the right thing to do to move forward and get a real number. Then we can talk about is it financially feasible. Then we can talk about is that location really the best for traffic, etc,” argued Stinnett.
Council Member Susan Lamb got backing to discuss placing city hall on government owned property currently used for Phoenix Park. “I think it was a success when we processed the senior center and built it on our own property and I see that much like that same situation,” said Lamb
That Phoenix Park property site has undergone previous study, but never been voted on.