Town hall to move to historic home

Published 11:09 pm Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Lowndes Signal

Lowndesboro’s town council is making plans to move its town hall from beside the school to a larger location less than a mile up the road, said Lowndesboro Mayor Rick Pate.

The Lowndesboro Landmarks Foundation (LLF) sold the historic Marengo house and its property to the Lowndesboro town council in November 2010.

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“It was a struggle to find anyone to make it work financially,” Pate said. “We proposed a win-win situation.”

While the council controls ownership of the property, the upper floor of the home will be leased to the LLF for weddings, parties and other events; as it has in the past.

“We will take over upkeep of the grounds and hire Landmarks as the event coordinator and manager,” said Pate.

As a result of the change of ownership, Pate said the town will have a lower insurance rate and will not be required to pay property tax. Also, future events at the home are expected to be less expensive for everyone utilizing the house.

Future town council meetings will be held in the lower floor of the Marengo house, allowing for more conveniences for the town clerk, council members and residents attending meetings.

The current town hall does not have running water, restrooms or a comfortable-enough space to house large crowds of people, added Pate.

Lowndesboro’s town council hopes to have its town hall moved to the new location by March, due to some much needed maintenance, Pate noted.

“The house needs a minimum of $50,000 to bring it up to par,” said Pate. “We have to do some painting, put in new carpet and eventually buy some new furniture.”

No decision has been made at this time regarding what to do with the previous town hall location, however Pate and the town council members have discussed the possibility of using it to help the town’s local volunteer fire department (VFD).

“Right now, we keep all our parts and supplies for the water system there,” Pate said. “We hope to add some value to our fire department.”