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Wait nearly over for city staff and seniors

(ran Seminole edition)

One of the new beginnings for Seminole this year will be a move to a new, improved City Hall.

The move, scheduled for the first weekend in February, will clear the way for the old City Hall, at 7464 Ridge Road, to become a senior center.

"It will definitely address a need that exists in the community," City Manager Frank Edmunds said. "It's a perfect setting in the park for that activity."

The old City Hall will continue to house Seminole's Public Works department and will become a permanent emergency operations center because it is one of the strongest city buildings.

The new City Hall, at 9199 113th St., is the site of the former Seminole Community Library. The library moved across the street to the St. Petersburg College campus as part of a joint-use agreement between the college and the city.

The old library was fairly new _ built around 1992 _ and had an open floor plan that made it relatively easy to renovate the building into a city hall, Edmunds said. The large meeting room will become the council chambers, and walls are being put up for city offices.

It will house the mayor's and city manager's offices, the council chambers, the administration department and the general services department, which includes the building division, where people obtain building permits.

When the $2.3-million renovation began last spring, officials hoped to be in their new quarters by the end of the year. But conversion of the council chambers is taking longer than expected, Edmunds said. Installation of the council desk and the technology is trickier than expected.

"We're preparing the council chambers for future televising of all meetings as well as computer technology, audio and video technology," Edmunds said.

It is not clear if council meetings will be televised even if Seminole has the technology to do so. That will be a council decision, Edmunds said.

If all goes well, an open house and ribbon cutting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 7. City offices will be closed Feb. 4 for moving and will remain closed until the ceremony, Edmunds said.

"As of this moment, it appears we will be able to make that schedule," he said.

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