Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette The Leitchfield City Council on Monday officially voted to move forward with renovating the former Rite Aid building into a new city hall and police station.

Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette

The Leitchfield City Council on Monday officially voted to move forward with renovating the former Rite Aid building into a new city hall and police station.

Following a vote Monday night, the city of Leitchfield will officially renovate the old Rite Aid building into a new city hall and police department.

After months of debates and discussions over where the new city buildings should go, Mayor Rick Embry, during Monday's Leitchfield City Council meeting, asked the council to make a decision on the issue.

City Councilman Billy Dallas then motioned to move forward with the plan set forth by the previous city council - to renovate the former Rite Aid building into a new city hall and police department - and his motion passed.

After the vote, Embry said the city will now move forward with renovation plans, and City Councilmen Harold Miller and Kelly Stevenson thanked Embry for supporting the council's decision on the matter.

The cost of renovating the former Rite Aid is projected to be $2,896,613 (around $150 per square foot); however, officials have previously said that around $200,000 can be cut from this total. In addition to construction costs, this estimate also includes a $241,384 contingency fund.

The city purchased the Rite Aid building last year for $2.8 million and has previously taken out a $5 million bond to fund its renovation. City officials have said the remaining balance will be funded out of the city's surplus.

The council also discussed hiring a construction manager to oversee the project, but no action was taken on this matter Monday night.

Progress on the new Leitchfield Police Department in particular is especially needed due to a shortage of space in the current police station at 117 South Main St., officials say.

Leitchfield Police Chief Bryan Langdon reported to the council Monday that the LPD had recently had to repurpose one of the sergeant's offices into an evidence storage room after the current evidence room became too full to house anymore.

That sergeant has now been moved into Langdon's office, he said.

In other business, the city council:

*Approved the second and final reading of the amended ordinance relating to the ownership and maintenance of dogs and cats within the city.

The amended ordinance changes the amount of time an animal must be retained at the shelter from a reasonable time not exceeding 10 days to a minimum of five days, pending the claiming thereof by their proper owners. In the event that such detained strays are not so claimed, they may be either placed up for adoption or sent to an approved rescue organization at the city's discretion.

The amended ordinance also sets the adoption fee for dogs at $85 and for cats at $50.

*Voted to implement a new text messaging service through which citizens may text the city regarding issues with which they are dealing, such as debris that needs to be picked up. The service will cost $100 per month, and will generate an initial automatic response to the citizen.

The text will then be sent via email to the appropriate city employee, and they will respond with a date on which the work will be performed, according to Embry.

*Voted to give the city little league and softball directors $2,000 pay increases. They will each be paid $6,000 for the seasons in which they work moving forward. The council also agreed to permit the Leitchfield leagues to participate in a county-wide league with Clarkson and Caneyville.

*Tabled a decision on whether to continue to livestream council meetings.

*Came to the consensus that this year's city fireworks display should be held on the Friday before the Twin Lakes National Fiddler Championship.

*Voted to give 11 city employees raises.