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Wilmore looks to sell old City Hall

Police relocate, making government’s move to new home complete

Wilmore’s municipal government has finished moving into its new home on Lexington Avenue, and the City Council was expected to consider proposals for the old City Hall at 335 E. Main St. at its meeting Monday, Nov. 2, at 6:30 p.m.

City Clerk Sharon Moore said Wednesday the deadline for receiving proposals for the old City Hall and two other city-owned properties, the Rice House at 100 Rice St. and the former Crouse Concrete building on Maple Street was Friday, Oct. 31.

Mayor Harold Rainwater would like to see the old City Hall sold to a business so that it helps grow the local economy and produces revenue for the city.

“The goal is to create jobs for downtown Wilmore and not leave it as a warehouse,” Rainwater said.

The mayor said the city has gotten proposals for “everything from a hardware store to a restaurant,” as well as a bakery and a new location for expanding an existing business. The upstairs part of the building could be downtown apartments, he said.

“It’s a hundred-year-old building, but it’s solid,” he said, adding that it’s the best building downtown, in his opinion.

Many of Wilmore’s downtown storefront buildings have been  offices for Christian ministries and other nonprofits, but Moore said whoever buys the old City Hall won’t be a nonprofit.

In September, the Mayor’s Office, Parks and Recreation, Wilmore Fire Department and other offices moved into the former school building on Lexington Avenue, and last Friday, Oct. 23, the Wilmore Police Department officially opened its new headquarters in the oldest part of the building, which was constructed in 1930 by the same company that designed and built the City Hall on Main Street.

“We’re excited about being here,” Police Chief Bill Craig said Wednesday as he sat at his desk in his spacious new office. “We’ve got more room, and it’s more accessible to the public. It’s not centered downtown, but that’s OK. It’s more accommodating.”

The city bought the 56,000-square-foot building for only $250,000.

It has nearly 10 times the office space the old building had and 150 parking spaces.

The Jessamine County Clerk’s Office has a Wilmore office in the building that it will be moving into after the election next week, and on Wednesday, Vince Lewellen, the city’s public works supervisor, was giving representatives of the Jessamine County E-911 program a tour of the facility. The dispatch center in downtown Nicholasville will have a backup location in the new Wilmore police station’s basement that it can use in case its current center goes down. E-911 will also conduct exercises in the new location.

Rainwater has said there have been discussions with the Jessamine County Public Library about having a branch library in the 3,600-square-foot basement of the newer part of the building, constructed in 1962. The basement is handicapped accessible from the rear.

The mayor said the city and library has a memorandum of agreement and is working out the final details on the arrangement.

“We’re close to getting that approved,” he said.

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at randy.patrick@bluegrassnewsmedia.com.

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