The most common reason some people oppose Palm Coast building a new city hall is that residents voted against building one in 2005. They say, “Don’t the city officials get it? We already told you no!”
The plan in 2005 was to borrow $22 million and build a 70,000-square-foot building, plus community centers. Because of the proposed debt, the city had to pass a referendum to go forward, and it was shot down — hard. Eighty-two percent said no.
But that was then.
Today, the city is not considering anything so lavish. The proposed building is 40,000 square feet, and there is no borrowing required. Moreover, there won’t be any new taxes to support it.
Today, the taxpayers of Palm Coast pay $240,000 per year in rent for government offices at City Marketplace. How long do we want to keep throwing that money away? Renting is a great option for a business or a family that is hesitant to permanently put down its roots in a community, but the government operations of the city of Palm Coast will be here forever. The best option financially is to own the building and eliminate the rent payments.
Today, logic points toward building a new city hall. The longer we wait, the more expensive construction will be.
Some residents will say that we should spend the money on other projects. But no other capital project will have such a dramatic financial benefit as saving $240,000 in rent.
We urge the members of the Palm Coast City Council to do the right thing and vote for a new city hall in Town Center.