Temple Mayor Rick Ford said there will be discussion on the demolition of the old Sewell Manufacturing Plant. If things go well, a bid may be approved at the meeting.
“We hope that by the end of January we will have it torn down,” Ford said. “We are going through the permitting process right now. We hope that immediately after demolition we can start construction on the new complex, which has an estimated eight to 12-month construction period.”
The demolition is part of a long-range plan for a new City Hall complex in the city.
The 27,000-square-foot Sewell building was built in the 1950s and once provided employment for a good number of Temple’s residents. After the facility closed, the building was purchased by the city in 2007. The transition into a new government building will cost an estimated $1.5 million and be paid for with 2008 SPLOST funds. Ultimately, the project will also see the size of the building reduced by about half.
“It will save money in the long term on operational costs, heating and air, electricity and other things of that nature,” Ford said.
Asbestos is one issue that will need to be worked through before construction can start. Temple previously sent out a request for proposals for the asbestos removal and received only one bid. The lone bid was higher than Ford expected, so another round of requests may go out, which will cause a small delay.
Also during the meeting, a few personnel issues will be looked at by the City Council during executive session, which isn’t open to the public.
Another item of business that must be taken care of is the selection of the Temple mayor pro tempore for the year. The 2012 mayor pro tem was William Simmons, who is the longest-serving Temple city councilman with more than 20 years of service. It will be decided at the meeting if Simmons continues in the role or if someone else will take the position.
“You just never know,” Ford said. “Sometimes it changes from year to year, it’s really up to the council. We will hold nominations, and if anyone wants to nominate someone else we will vote on our mayor pro tem.”
Temple City Hall is located at 337 Sage St. The city council meets the first Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m.