In a meeting fraught with emotions and strong opinions on both sides, the Livermore City Council decided Monday to go ahead with construction of a new city hall on 4th Avenue (main street downtown) at the intersection with 4th Street.
At its November meeting, the council voted 4-0 to proceed with plans to construct a new city hall building on 4th Avenue (the town’s main street) on the lot of the former Livermore State Bank. The action came in light of extensive structural damage to the current Livermore City Hall on 4th Street, as the result of a May 2 snowstorm and strong winds on Sunday, Nov. 3, that blew portions of the roof off the building.
At Monday night’s meeting, the council discussed the matter and heard from members of the public opposed to the new building.
Livermore residents Paul and Catherine McKibban presented a petition with 129 signatures opposed to building a new city hall for an estimated cost of $258,000.
“It’s too much money to spend,” said Catherine McKibban. She said the digging of new water wells in the city, a new fire station and city recycling are more pressing matters than a new city hall.
Council member Penny Porter thanked the McKibbans and those people who signed the petition for their interest, but felt not moving forward with the plan to build a new city hall would be a step backward for the community.
“If we would not go through with this, it would make me feel that this town does not want to grow," Porter said.
The council decided to approve a 10-year, 0 interest pass-through loan with Midland Power Cooperative which will include a 20 percent downpayment and monthly payments of $2,600-$2,900. The vote was 4-1 in favor of approving the loan, with council member Tom Collins voting no.