Anniston council considers temporary locations for city hall

Anniston council considers temporary locations for city hall
The current Anniston City Hall. Source: Dixon Hayes/WBRC

ANNISTON, AL (WBRC) - Anniston’s city council is considering four temporary locations, for its city hall

The council has narrowed down the list of possible temporary sites, where the city's government will be located for five years.

The federal government plans to build a new federal courthouse on the site of the current Anniston city hall. The city government would move into the current federal courthouse.

The federal government chose that site with the encouragement of city officials, who wanted the effects to be felt downtown. The current, historic federal courthouse is said to be the future city hall as a permanent location.

The council is considering for its temporary city hall:

Commerce Towers, in which the main Calhoun County branch of BBVA Compass Bank is located

The Consolidated Publishing Building, where the Anniston Star newspaper and others are now published

The City Meeting Center, which means events held there every year would have to relocate

The Davis Building, located near an office park near the Oxford city limits.

Council member Millie Harris tells WBRC each site has its advantages and its drawbacks.

"There's not going to be a perfect place," Harris says. "We're looking at location, we're looking at how much is it going to cost to renovate this facility for us to use for five years, so there's a lot of variables there that we have to consider."

For instance, the Anniston Star building is very new, having been built in 2002, but some council members prefer a downtown site. The Star building is located across town near Veterans' Parkway. The Davis Building is also seen as being too far from downtown. Council members also say the 12 story Commerce Towers would necessitate the city's departments being on different floors, something that would be inconvenient for the public.

The council has called a meeting for Tuesday, November 13, to tour all four facilities, then to go into executive session about the possibility of purchasing real estate. One councilor suggested executive session for the tour itself, but the council decided against it since one of the buildings houses a newspaper with reporters.

The council has budgeted between $20,000 and $22,000 for real estate and renovation costs for the temporary location.

The General Accounting Office, which is planning the new federal courthouse, wants to begin construction in September 2019.

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