, 2014

Town Center committee meets at new town hall

by Audrey Thomasson

KILMARNOCK—The first official business in the new town hall location took place Monday, when the town center committee of the Kilmarnock Town Council met at 1 North Main Street to start making transition plans.

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According to town manager Tom Saunders, the move will start sometime in June with the major portion of the move taking place the weekend of June 28.

In preparation for the move, town office telephones, internet and email may be down for a day or two and Saunders advised residents to plan around that eventuality.

“At some point, we will have to turn off the phones in order for Verizon to transfer the system over,” said Saunders. “We hope to be prepared on July 1 for transactions in the new location.”

During Monday’s walk-through, the committee determined only a few small structural changes will be needed, such as dividing one office into two and installing a couple of internal doors.

The main conference room will be used for town hall meetings and will be equipped with audio/visual equipment. Most electronic wiring is in place for future needs. Also, the facility will need additional furniture for the conference room and reception area.

Kilmarnock police will occupy three offices at the back of the building and utilize the back entry on West Church Street. Saunders said one of the five parking spots on the property will be designated for police use only. Four other spots, including a handicap spot, will be for customers stopping in to pay bills and conduct other town business.

Police cars will be parked on the property after business hours and may utilize the town parking lot off Augusta Street if not in service during the day, Saunders said.

Although renovations will begin shortly, the town will not pay anything to seller Bank of Lancaster until closing on July 1, according to council member Rebecca Nunn.

While initially opposed to the purchase, councilman Shawn Donahue said, “It’s a done deal. It’s time to put differences aside and move forward.”

“The town is planning a series of soft open houses for the public to get acquainted with their new facility,” said assistant town manager Susan Cockrell.

The town center committee suggested featuring local artists’ work on the walls, including art projects by school children. Because the building will be community based, some space is designated for citizens and business use for meetings. One of the first planned events there will be a Lancaster by the Bay Chamber of Commerce “After Hours” event in September.

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