CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – One of the biggest priorities for city leaders this year appears to be deciding if a new city hall should be built, how much it should cost and where it should go.
Conway City Hall, also know as the Old Horry County Courthouse, is one of the most iconic buildings downtown, but the historic facility may be too old to serve as the city government’s home.
“Our 84-year-old structure is literally crumbling,” said Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy. “It is not going to waste away to rubble immediately, but it has a number of challenges.”
City council members talked about their most important issues in next year’s budget at a workshop Wednesday and many say a new city hall is at the top of their lists.
“We need to consider what we’re going to do with this, so we’re not sending out mixed messages to the community about what we’re going to do with the city hall building,” said council member Larry White.
Council member Jean Timbes says she thinks the current city hall building could be repurposed to house historical archives.
“I’d like for us to settle where city hall is going to be, once and for all, because I think city hall, old or new, is a landmark,” Timbes said.
Early estimates say a new city hall could cost $15-20 million, depending on if it’s a two- or three-story building. No design has been approved yet.
Mayor Blain-Bellamy says a new city hall would unite all services, now in three locations, in a safer building.
“We’d like to incorporate a space where all those departments are sitting together and can serve people so much more efficiently,” she said. “The building also has its shortcomings, relative to security.”
Council members have also discussed putting the new building downtown right next to the current city hall or near the Conway Shopping Center off Fourth Avenue.
“I am one of those people who clearly favors that city hall remains downtown,” said Mayor Blain-Bellamy. “It would always be a staple.”
Mayor Blain-Bellamy says council will narrow down ways to pay for the city hall during the budget retreat in March.
Count on News13 for updates.
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