Pleasant Hope’s city government will soon have a new base of operations.
Last month, the city closed a deal to purchase two buildings connected by a parking lot across Miller Street/Mo. 215 from Dollar General.
The site, which previously housed Polk County Discount Center, is owned by Jerry Stevens, according to property transfers previously published in the BH-FP.
City clerk Lynn Esser said Pleasant Hope will pay Stevens $250,000 for the property in a lease-to-own arrangement financed by Bank of Bolivar and O’Bannon Bank.
“The banks were able to work with us,” she said.
The agreement was unanimously approved by the board of aldermen at its Monday, Feb. 17, meeting.
Under the agreement, Stevens will help remodel the interior for offices, Esser said.
Stevens did not return a request for comment made Wednesday, May 20.
City hall is currently in a shopping center on Main Street/Rt. H next to The Pharmacy at Pleasant Hope.
“It’s been a long time in the making,” Esser said of the move. “We’ve been paying rent in this suite at the shopping mall since 2007.”
Esser said the city could start occupying the new space in 60 days, depending on the construction process.
The new spot presents a number of advantages, Esser said.
City hall, public works and the police department will all be located there, she said. The new site includes garage bays and work spaces for the public works and police departments.
“We’ve had stuff everywhere,” she said. “We’ve had storage areas and rentals.This allows us to bring all of the municipal entities together. Now, we’re here, and all our stuff is here.”
That’s important, Pleasant Hope mayor Richard Harralson said.
“With this, we’re able to get all of the city’s stuff inside and out of the weather,” he said. “That allows us to take better care of things taxpayers have paid for.”
Harralson said one issue with the current city hall is its lack of space. The police department also has offices there, and if officers need to conduct interviews with members of the public, there isn’t much room available.
“I’ve seen the difficulty in having complete privacy as you’d need with the police,” he said.
Esser, too, said she sees the move as beneficial to the public. Everyone in town knows where Dollar General is and should be able to find city hall, she said.
“If you have a water issue, you know where we’re at,” she said. “You can come to one spot and handle all of your city business.”
Harralson said the location fits all of the city’s needs, including its budget.
“We’ve been saving money a long time, looking at other properties we could build on,” he said. “That was way over our budget. We’ve found what we were looking for.”