A little birdie has informed me of a development that needs some fleshing out up yonder in Amarillo, where city officials are pondering a way to present a bond issue to voters that could drastically remake the shape and location of municipal government.
At issue is a discussion over a potential $300 million-plus bond issue that would involve an expansion/renovation of the Civic Center, renovation of the Santa Fe Depot and the relocation of City Hall.
It’s the last item I want to discuss briefly.
I understand from my source that the City Council is keeping its relocation options quiet regarding where it wants to relocate City Hall. The city wants to move the government operations center into an existing structure downtown.
So, you might be wondering: Where? Which building? What’s involved in the renovation of that structure into a workable municipal complex?
City officials are looking at a possible May 2020 bond issue election date. That’s not too far out there, folks. It seems to me that the site of new City Hall would need to be known to the public that would decide whether to spend that kind of money.
I don’t know how far along the city is in its determination of where to relocate City Hall. My hope would be that once the city administration and the council decide that they all would reveal in detail to the public what it has in mind and how it intends to accomplish its goal.
The city already has peeled off a lot of its administrative functions from City Hall, moving many of those functions into the Jim Simms Administration Building. So it would appear that the city doesn’t need as much space for a new City Hall as has at its current site across the street from Hodgetown, the Sod Poodles’ ballpark.
But … first things first.
Be sure to let the public know what the council has in mind and where it intends to place it. The sooner the better.