PORTSMOUTH – On Monday evening, City Manager Sam Sutherland unveiled his plan for a new City Hall in the City of Portsmouth.
He asked members of City Council to add legislation to the next agenda that would approve a purchase agreement with the Scioto County Commissioners for the City to obtain 500 Chillicothe Street – also known as the former 5/3 Bank Building.
The purchase cost for the building would be $418,000. According to Sutherland, the Commissioners have agreed to accept payments over a 10-year period with zero interest.
“Our main goal for the city is to get downtown development going,” said Sutherland. “And it’s also to get the city out of this current building…it is pretty cramped. I feel like this is a good move and I hope council agrees.”
City Hall is currently located at 728 2nd Street. The structure, built in 1934, would be available for sale once this legislation is approved.
“In February of 2021, we had a city wide meeting with every department head,” explained 2nd Ward Councilwoman Charlotte Gordon. “It was a very productive meeting. What each department head said was they were totally out of space. They needed more. And there was also a big need for storage. This (legislation) would certainly address those issues.”
Council voted 6-0 to move the legislation forward at the next meeting.
Also on Monday night, council voted 6-0 to accept $1.4 million from the Richard Martings Foundation. The funds can only be used for the purchase and renovation of a new city building – meaning – the city can effectively cover the cost of purchase and spend approximately $1 million towards renovations.
The total cost of the project remains to be seen. This move, coupled with the recent Marting’s building deal with SOPA, could mean a large amount of development for the esplanade and Chillicothe Street corridor in the coming months.
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