The decision was the result of ma 3-1 vote at a special meeting. Bunnell projects spending an additional $300,000 to prepare the three-building campus for its permanent offices, including the police department, all of which have been spread through three locations around Bunnell for the past five years.
With two commissioners ready to give back the old courthouse to the county, Bunnell opted Monday to get more solid bids on what it would cost the city to turn the problematic building into its city hall, but the city administration drew a bleak picture of finances that cannot bear new burdens regardless.
The 3-2 vote of the Bunnell City Commission was fraught with questions about the conditions of the 49,700 square foot building, which is in serious disrepair, shows evidence of leaks and possibly mold, and may cost upward of $5 million to be functional again, though Bunnell says nit would only refurbish a portion of it at a lower cost.
A 50-image photo gallery provides the first comprehensive inside look at the conditions of the old Flagler County Courthouse and annex, which Bunnell acquired at no cost on Nov. 26. But the city is now responsible for all repair and maintenance costs of both attached structures. The costs will be heavy.
Bunnell’s new city manager, Lawrence Williams, will be paid $44,000 less than Armando Martinez, his predecessor, but Williams’s first meeting as manager Monday was heavy on rancor and sniping and light on olive branches as commissioners continued to parry over Williams’s contract and other matters, signaling no thaw in their cold war any time soon.
Only 17 people had RSVP’s with payment for the Nob. 8 black-tie gala in a city more riven by conflict than buoyed by centennial celebration. The Bunnell City Commission voted to hold a barbecue at a later date, with cost and caterers yet to be determined, though two commissioners may volunteer for duty.
The City Commission late Monday evening voted 3-2 to hire Lawrence J. Williams as its next city manager. It was the culmination of six months of change and turmoil in Bunnell government, ending the tenure of Armando Martinez.
The attorney, Lonnie Groot, has resigned effective Oct. 1, in part because of the criticism leveled at him after he issued the first bill, for $24,000. The city had budgeted $60,000 for the entire year, and will have to find the balance of the money in its reserves.
The Bunnell City Commission was interviewing four candidates for city manager Saturday afternoon and into early evening, devoting an hour to each. An analytical summary of each interview is included.
Elbert Tucker’s decision to interview candidates individually aside, the Bunnell City Commission will interview the five candidates Saturday afternoon, by which time it will likely be clear who will be the city’s next manager, replacing Armando Martinez.