Public to vote on fire/ambulance building and City Hall remodel

Wade Young

The Montgomery City Council is letting the public decide whether or not to proceed with its planned emergency services building and City Hall remodel.

The council made the unanimous decision on Monday during its regular meeting to ask the public via a referendum to issue general obligation bonds (GO) up to $6.3 million for a new fire and ambulance building on Lexington Avenue east of Traditions of Montgomery, and a remodel/expansion of City Hall for the police department.

If the public votes down the referendum, the council is bound by law to wait 180 days before resubmitting the question to voters. Also, if the project costs would go up during that time, the city is not allowed to ask voters for more than the $6.3 million.

The other option the council considered was to issue capital improvement bonds (CIP bond) , which would have required a public hearing. However, with that option, the public would have 30 days to submit a petition signed by 50 to 60 residents to force the city to hold a referendum. If that failed, the waiting time to ask voters again would have been one year

During discussion, all of the councilors agreed they like the option of public input via the referendum. Councilor Dennis Lambrecht said he favors the GO method instead of spending the city’s money for the project through a CIP bond.

Bob Forcelle said he’s looked at both options and heard feedback from the public on the CIP, but is leaning toward the GO.

“People should be included in making this decision,” Forcelle stated.
See more in the print edition.


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