ZEPHYRHILLS — City Hall has a new home, at least temporarily.
The move to interim accommodations comes as the city prepares to tear down the existing City Hall this summer to build a new one.
Zephyrhills City Council voted unanimously Monday to enter into a lease with Dannie Jordan, of RTD Construction, to move city operations to the former Zephyrhills police station at 5344 9th St.
The city will pay Jordan $4,000 monthly starting June 1 for a one-year lease ending May 31, 2018. There is also a caveat allowing the city to pay month-to-month rent for six months should construction time-frame projections run long.
Plans are for the old police station to hold all city hall operations with the exception of its planning staff, which is projected to join the Zephyrhills' Community Redevelopment Agency currently housed at the historic Jeffries House, at 38533 Fifth Ave. The city sold the police station in 2004 after building new headquarters for the department.
"The building will be a perfect fit for us," City Manager Steve Spina told council.
It will also mean a considerable reduction from $120,000 projected in the new City Hall construction budget for temporary operations. Spina said the former police building is still outfitted with needed phone and computer lines, as well as a working window for utility customers to use. The only changes needed may be to widen a window for customer access to the City Clerk's office, he said.
In January, the City Council voted to build a new 19,615-square-foot building at a projected cost of nearly $6.2 million. It will consist of a two-story City Hall with new council chambers, office and storage space, rest rooms, a lobby, stairways, an elevator and a courtyard.
The current 13,497-square-foot City Hall, at 5334 8th St., which dates back to the 1950s, is slated to be demolished this summer and the new site will be built on the same location with construction projected to take a year.
Meanwhile, the City Council also voted unanimously to purchase the Disabled American Veterans building, located at 5325 8th St. across the street from City Hall, for $55,000 plus closing costs. Once purchased, the city plans to raze the building, which has significant roof leakage, and use the property for increased parking for the new City Hall.
The projected cost of that demolition is estimated at around $10,000, which may coincide with demolition efforts of the old City Hall building, Spina told council.