Story by Paige Effinger, Contributing writer
The Murray City Hall will be moving into the former BB&T building on 5th Street and Main Street in downtown Murray.
The Murray Police Department will move into the current City Hall building.
Brant Shutt of the Murray Police Department said the move has not been scheduled yet.
Jack Rose, mayor of Murray, said the move was ultimately decided by the city because the current facilities did not suit their needs.
“City Hall was becoming too small, but the driving force to me was to make sure that we could have an appropriate police station for the city of Murray,” Rose said.
City Hall is becoming crowded; some offices have more than one person.
“In our City Hall building – with Murray growing the way it is – our Planning Department has become too small,” Rose said. “If you go into the office of our Planning Department, you’ll see maps and big rolls of paper of plans around the walls in their offices.”
Shutt said the current Murray Police Department building is a few decades old, and it does not fit the current staff and services. At the moment, the police department uses two different buildings in downtown Murray.
“We are constantly walking back and forth across the street,” Shutt said. “Our found property vaults and our records vaults are in a completely different building than our records custodians. Basically, we have outgrown our room.”
The Murray Police Department wants to consolidate their services into one building. Steven Stephens, a senior criminal justice major from Henderson, KY, said he believes it would be beneficial for any department to have their services in one building.
“Officers have enough duties and responsibilities as it is, so any opportunity to improve time management should be taken,” Stephens said.
The Murray Police Department will be using what will be the old City Hall building. Shutt said there will be a new training center to host classes for the police department in what is currently the City Council Chambers.
Finding a new building for City Hall and the police department is not a new idea; they tried to move into the Regents Bank building, but it fell through.
“This deal with BB&T is BB&T is moving out,” Shutt said. “We were able to make a good deal with the city for City Hall to move into their building – where they can expand themselves.”
Shutt said BB&T is leaving the building because they are going to consolidate with their north branch.
Although there have been rumors of increasing payroll tax to pay for the move, these are not accurate. Shutt said these plans were already made before any talk of increasing payroll tax.
“To my knowledge, the money was available through the general fund,” Shutt said.
All of the departments that use City Hall will help finance this transition. For example, Rose said Public Works will help finance it because most of their work is done through City Hall.
“It will be a joint effort of the general fund and everybody working together that will actually be benefitting from that building,” Rose said.
Shutt said the purchase of the building was $900,000, although the property was appraised at $4.5 million.
Rose said the current BB&T building is being taxed through the Property Evaluation Administration Office as $4.5 million, and he worked for a year to get this deal.
“I did the best I could to get the price as low as I could, and I think we just about did that,” Rose said.
Now that both City Hall and the Murray Police Department are moving into buildings with more space, Shutt said there is a chance that more services will be available for Murray citizens.
“Something like that would be great to bridge the gap between police officers and the community,” Stephens said.