Rush Springs_Rush Springs City Hall is starting the New Year without a home. In fact, city hall workers, fire and police employees have all been homeless the past eight months. They had to tear down their old town hall building last May because it was almost 100 years old.
The site where the new building was to go appears as if construction has already been started, but it's far from finished. In fact, work on the new city hall has come to a complete stop because it's going to cost way more money than the city thought. Rush Springs is a small town with a big heart and one of the councilmen says they're committed to finishing the project - it's just going to take more time than anticipated.
When you drive down Highway 81 and see Rush Springs, you may think of the town's huge watermelon festival. But, these days, the town would like for you to think of helping it out of a huge financial hole so they can build a new city hall.
Councilman Mike Brown says he's looking for folks who can give them a great price on building materials - metal, concrete and more. "We had a building that was very inefficient utility wise. We were spending 7 to 8 thousand a month just to heat and cool it and that wasn't working," he says.
So, the city decided to build a new one, big enough to house fire, police and city hall workers all together under one roof. They'd hoped to build it for under $200,000, but some of the bids have come in way over that - one for even $1 Million. All are budget busters. So now, Brown says, they've scaled back.
They'd planned to pay for the new building out of the town budget, along with some grants. Now, they're going to try and get a few more grants and hope and pray for a miracle. "We'll accept anything we're a small town and there are a lot of good volunteers," Brown says. Meanwhile, workers are camping out in a rented space a few blocks over.
Brown says they had planned on finishing construction by this summer, but that's not going to happen. So, they hope to be in their new building by the end of 2008.