Hope Town Council shelves idea of new town hall

HOPE – The long-discussed proposal of construction a new, modern town hall in Hope appears to have been shelved.

It was one of three agenda items Tuesday where the Hope Town Council took steps to rein in spending — or illustrate why fiscal frugality is necessary.

A newly constructed town hall to replace the current smaller structure built in 1978 was estimated to cost about $2.5 million, clerk-treasurer Diane Burton said.

The study included a recommendation for the town to take out a $1 million loan to be paid back at $3,875 a month over a 40-year period.

But several council members nodded their heads in agreement with councilman Clyde Compton, who spoke against passing on a 40-year debt to future generations.

To help the council test whether it could afford the monthly payments, Burton suggested setting aside an equivalent amount over a three-year period while other funding sources for a new city hall could be sought.

At the end of the three years, the town would have set aside $139,500 that could either be spent on the building or on another project, she said.

But in response, Compton brought up an upcoming sanitary sewer project in the Goshen Meadows subdivision, as well as a necessary replacement of storm sewers and water lines under the town’s Washington Street.

“We have two projects that are each over $1 million that we can’t fund now,” Compton said. “And both need to be done in three to five years.”

For more on this story, see Friday’s Republic.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.