By KELLY DANIELS
After months of discussions, Starkville’s advisory group for a new municipal complex agreed to host an open house and tours to show the public the cramped conditions at City Hall.
Long-described by elected officials as inadequate, the building on Lampkin Street is the hub of the city’s vital operations, including the Police Department, Municipal Court, the Mayor’s Office, the Public Services Department, the City Clerk’s Office, the City Engineer’s Office and the Building, Codes and Planning Department,.
Members of the Municipal Complex Committee walked through the entire facility during its first meeting and since then have invited the public to take a tour with them.
“Walking through City Hall was an eye-opening experience, and the committee wanted get public feedback,” Mayor Parker Wiseman said.
The committee has scheduled the tours for Dec. 10 from 2 to 5 p.m. and Dec. 14 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Without disclosing specifics, Wiseman reported the committee discussed during a closed session potential properties as sites for a new municipal complex location.
“I’m going to research the acquirability between now and our next meeting,” Wiseman said.
For over two decades, officials have discussed the need for a more functional building, originally focusing on new facilities for the Police Department and Municipal Court.
Officials and members of the public debated on different proposed locations and made four failed attempts to find a solution.
Meanwhile, as the city’s population continued its rapid increase, departments and their staff have grown as well as their duties. Many city employees share offices that once were closets or storage rooms.
City Hall was originally built in 1939 as an armory for the Mississippi National Guard, which donated the facility to the city in 1968.