Bonham looking toward new city hall, senior center - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Bonham looking toward new city hall, senior center


With the low interest rates and reduced construction costs across America, Bonham is finding now may be the time to build a new city hall, reconstruct the old one, and possibly add a new senior center for the city.

The idea of a new city hall had been circulating for awhile, City Manager Corby Alexander said, and was even up for a bond election more recently, with that measure failing at the hands of voters. Now, Alexander said, the interest rates are so low and construction prices so good, that refinancing Bonham's current debt and adding about $1.9 million to take on the three new projects is feasible. Especially since it would mean gathering the money to build anew without having to raise property taxes in Bonham.

Last night, the Bonham City Council heard the proposal to build a new city hall and senior center as well as renovating the old city hall for a larger police department. Alexander said a new senior center is needed in Bonham, as the aging building used now pre-dates the 1950s and does not serve the needs of the elderly community. "We would like to see more meals served at a senior center, more fellowship, a place for gathering. What we have now is inadequate."

He said city administration would move to the new city hall structure while the old city hall would be completely renovated allowing the police department to expand fully into that building it now shares with city offices.

Monday night's debate at city council centered not around the need for a senior center or more room for the police department, but rather on if the city needed new offices. Alexander said the debate brought about the question of using the money garnered from refinancing city debt for street repairs in the city or for just lowering Bonham's property tax in general.

A committee has been formed to look further into these details and will report back to the city council the second Monday in February. Mayor Roy Floyd and councilors John Burnett and Wayne Moore make up that committee.

------   Gary Carter / KTEN News