DADE CITY — It's the proposed $6 million building some residents are calling the "Taj Mahal of Dade City" because of its proposed span and amenities.
On Tuesday, city officials met with architect Lisa Wannemacher in a workshop to discuss updates and options for the new complex that would include city hall and the police department.
"I don't like that flat-looking roof," said City Commissioner Eunice Penix, "We've got columns, but I think (the roof) should be elevated. It looks just like a school."
Commissioner Camille Hernandez wanted to see more elevation options instead of just the one city officials have been given.
"If you're asking, do I like it — well, it doesn't knock my socks off," Hernandez said.
"Nothing is set in stone. This is kind of an early design development," said Wannemacher of Wannemacher Jensen Architects.
There was talk about saving the existing city hall annex because "it still has good bones. It's a very useful building," said Lennie Naeyaert, the city's director of public works.
But the construction of the complex on Meridian Avenue hinges on the decision from the U. S. Department of Agriculture as to the amount of funding the city will receive once its application is fully processed. The government grant could pay up to 55 percent of the cost, and the city is counting on a low-interest loan to pay the rest.
City Manager Billy Poe Jr. said it might take a couple of months longer to get the grant funding in place.
The city's $120,000 design budget has met its maximum. The estimated cost of construction of the proposed complex is $5 million and another $1 million is planned for the interior.
The proposed project is still 12 to 18 months away from the start of construction, if everything goes as planned, Poe says.
"We're not digging dirt yet," Wannemacher said. "There's still a lot of study opportunity."