New city hall, parking deck vote delayed

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 8:57 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - Plans for constructing a new city hall and two parking decks in the city of Florence are on hold.

City council members could not come to a unanimous agreement to consider a vote on it.

Council members Bill Griffin and Jimmy Oliver voted against bringing the $53 million project matter to a vote.

The other four council members favored it.

The existing proposal will have the new city hall being built in the parking lot of the existing city hall. That means the existing city hall would be torn down, and a municipal parking deck would be built at that location.

The plans are for the current parking deck to be demolished once the new municipal one is completed. That would leave the city with an open lot on prime downtown property.

However, Oliver said at least 24 businesses will be affected by this change and at least eight of those businesses stay open until 10 p.m. or later. Employees will have to walk even further to get back to their vehicles, some in the dark.

One company, in particular, is trying to bring new companies into its building, which right now has direct access to the parking garage.

He said he isn’t against a new city hall and understands that the existing deck needs to be replaced but he and councilmen Griffin would like a little more time to consider the plan.

”If the council as a whole decides to go forward with the plan on the table, I’ll be their biggest cheerleader. I’m not going to stand in the way because I want to work with our city council and our mayor, our planning department and all the other departments involved but I do want to take these next three weeks to hear me out, hear the business owners out,” said Oliver.

The next vote will be at the next meeting, which is July 6.

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