Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette The Leitchfield City Council may not go forward with building a new city hall/police department following its discussion Monday night.

Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette

The Leitchfield City Council may not go forward with building a new city hall/police department following its discussion Monday night.

The future of the project to build a new Leitchfield city hall and police station has been called into question.

Proposed increases to local government's contributions to the state pension system have led city officials to question whether the project, previously estimated to cost more than $6.1 million, is still feasible.

At the Monday night, Nov. 20 Leitchfield City Council meeting, Leitchfield Mayor William Thomason said a decision needs to be made about the future of the project.

He said the City Council needs to decide whether it wants to move forward with the project and, if so, what design it wants to use. Brandstetter Carroll, Inc. recently presented a number of designs for the city to consider.

City Councilmember Kelly Stevenson said that, before the city votes to spend any money on the project, he wanted to know what the state legislature intends to do about the state employees' pension crisis.

Thomason said many people do not realize how much the cost proposed pension reforms will be to local governments, adding that Leitchfield can expect to contribute $1.1 million more to the state pension system after the reform plan is established.

Thomason said that while he would like to see a new city hall

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and police department built, he does not want to spend such a large sum of money and not be able to pay for it down the line, thus forcing the city to raise taxes to cover the costs.

The mayor added that the proposed location for the new city hall and police station, off of William Thomason Byway, is an "ideal piece of property" that could be used for other things, such as a hotel or motel, and, now that the city has nearly paid it off, it could be sold for a good price later on.

No decision was made Monday night, but Thomason asked the City Council to consider the pension reforms before making a decision on whether to move forward with the project.

He said a decision will be made at the City Council's Monday, Dec. 4 meeting.

In other business:

*City Councilmember Harold Miller discussed possibly drafting a legal contract to require Leitchfield Utilities to assist the city more with the repair of utility cuts.

According to Miller, the city, not the utilities, has repaved the majority of Leitchfield Utilities' utility cuts in recent months, and, given that the City Council is needed for the utilities to move forward with the construction of their new water plant, it is not unreasonable for the utilities to help the city more with repairing utility cuts.

Miller said that "talking, begging, shaking hands" is obviously not going to work with the utilities, so legal action may need to be the next step.

No action was taken on this matter Monday night.

*The City Council authorized Girl Scout Troop 631 to plant a flower garden to attract honeybees and butterflies.

This project will serve as Derann Lasley, Keira Logsdon, and Melanie Fleener's Bronze Award project and will seek to reestablish the habitat of honeybees and butterflies because much of their habitat has been damaged and/or destroyed.

*The City Council approved compensating rate increases for four employees.

*The City Council voted to send a letter to Spring View Health & Rehab Center requesting that the business move its sign further away from the right-of-way on Wallace Avenue.

*The City Council voted to purchase a bench to be placed on the sidewalk across from Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center for smokers to use. Additionally, Stevenson said, the hospital has purchased a container for the disposal of cigarette butts and is waiting for the city to place a bench before setting it up.

*The City Council voted to request that Warren RECC install a light on East Carroll Gibson Boulevard.

Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette

The Leitchfield City Council may not go forward with building a new city hall/police department following its discussion Monday night.