City will hold public hearing on City Hall relocation plans

A public hearing will take place at Recklein Auditorium on Monday, August 13, so that citizens can voice their opinions and get more information about plans to relocate Cuba City Hall into the former MEPCO building on Highway PP.

The city council has yet to take any action on the proposal, but has discussed the possibility of moving City Hall into the old MEPCO building, which was donated to the city by the Sanazaro family. The office space and production area used by MEPCO before it moved to a new facility would provide more square footage for the city and also put City Hall across the street from Cuba Public Works.

Charlie Kolb addressed the issue at the July 2 council meeting, saying he had heard rumors that City Hall would be moving to that location. He voiced his opposition to such a plan, claiming it was not an ideal spot for the city’s main offices. “Think about the possibilities: There are no sidewalks over there, people can’t walk to it, and there’s busy traffic along Highway 19,” said Kolb. “It wouldn’t be safe, and there’s not enough parking.”

Kolb had sent a letter to the council about the matter, and he also wrote a letter to the newspaper stating his opposition.

Mayor Ray Mortimeyer told Kolb no decision had been made on it. “We have discussed it, but there is no decision yet,” he said.

“We’re supposed to be having a public hearing on this. We’ll probably hold it at Recklein, so that as many people can come, either for or against it,” said Alderman Cody Leathers. “That will happen first, before any decision is made. I think some folks might be surprised, whether they’re for or against it, that there are some [citizen] concerns that we will be able to address.”

Leathers recommended setting a public hearing in August and then advertising the meeting to give residents plenty of advance notice. “Let’s put it a month out from now and give people plenty of time. We need to get this thing advertised in the paper and on our website,” Leathers said. “We need to put this thing to bed or move forward on it.”

The mayor had first suggested having the public hearing as part of a regular council meeting in August, but Leathers felt it should be held at Recklein, where there is more room for a large crowd, and on a separate night from the regular business meetings. The council agreed to have the public hearing on Monday, August 13 at 6 p.m. at Recklein Auditorium. It will be the only issue on that night’s agenda.