City Hall to relocate, make room for police department

The City of Murray Long Range Planning Committee voted on Feb. 22 to authorize Mayor Bill Wells and his staff to hire an engineering firm to start a process that could end in the relocation of City Hall, two fire stations and the police station in 2015 fiscal year.

This proposal also includes the construction of a new city hall and three new fire stations.

City Administrator Matt Mattingly said the committee met in executive session to talk about potential acquisition of property. He said when the committee reassembled in open session the group gave an overview of public safety facilities within the city.

“Basically the city of Murray is looking to move City Hall,” Mattingly said. “With that move the current City Hall would be used for the police department.”

The plan proposed by Wells and his administration will start with seeking the engineering services that the committee authorized.

Mattingly said the city hoped to hire a local firm to build the new City Hall, rehabilitating the current City Hall and building new locations for Fire Stations 1 and 2.

The recommendation to the committee was to relocate City Hall, which would make more space for offices, the map room and expansion of their Customer Service Center.

If the plan is deemed feasible by the Long Range Planning Committee, the design work should take place during the 2014 fiscal year.

The current City Hall was built in 1978 and had renovations done to the HVAC system, fire alarm, elevator and architectural work in 2002.

He said the city is also looking at relocating Fire Station 1 to 16th street on an area of approximately four acres that was donated by Murray State in 2009. This would house the main fire station.

He said Fire Station 2 would be relocated to the north side of town, between Woodcrafter’s Galleries and Holmes Family Restaurant.

The Murray Long Range Planning Committee is planning to relocate City Hall. || Lori Allen/The News

The Murray Long Range Planning Committee is planning to relocate City Hall. || Lori Allen/The News

He said the city is also looking to expand the fire and police services to the west of Murray.

The city would need to hire three additional firefighters for Fire Station 3 once all the construction is complete and the stations are in their new locations.

Along with the movement of the fire stations, the police department will also get a new home. The plan is to move the city police department to the current city hall building.

“For years the police department has been out of space,” Mattingly said. “They are currently working out of a 5,000-square-foot facility and the current city hall facility is approximately 16,000 square feet, so that would give them a lot more room for operations and for parking.”

He said it also allows the police department to stay downtown, a better place from which to dispatch.

“Our current locations of the fire stations do not currently provide the adequate service level we need and doesn’t allow for expansion in the future,” Mattingly said.

The goal of the police department is to a have a response time of four minutes or less from each location. It’s a top priority to relocate Fire Stations 1 and 2, he said.

“We feel like we have a delayed service currently on the southwest of town with all of the subdivisions,” Mattingly said. “We are tying to prepare for future growth.”

Story by Meghann Anderson, News Editor.