OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – In a 4 to 3 decision back in April of this year, the Oak Hill City Council voted to convert the former Main Street BB&T Bank into the new city hall.
The four council members who voted for the new move see the building and its central location in town as a beneficial upgrade. They agree that it would serve as a centerpiece for downtown.
“We will be leaving the facility on Kelly Avenue which has been used since 1929,” says Mayor Danny Wright at the banner hanging of the new sign in front of the building back in June.
“It’s actually a celebration of progress looking to the future for the City of Oak Hill,” adds Council member David Perry also in attendance at the banner hanging ceremony.
However, the three other city council members that were a part of April’s session oppose the move.
A $675,000 purchase, the former BB&T building has come with some potential needed repairs.
Those who oppose it also say that there isn’t enough room there to accommodate all of the city hall staff. They say that too many funds are being put towards the move and they are losing about 60% of space.
Many concerned residents are also in opposition to the move.
“There’s a lot of unanswered questions that many citizens in Oak Hill are wanting answers to,” says one concerned citizen of Oak Hill, Michelle Riser. “They’re saying that the reasoning for purchasing this building would be to upsize when it’s actually going to be downsizing.”
Sources say the city is offering around $250,000 over the appraisal price for the building and residents want to know why.
Many agree that there is already enough space in the current city hall with more that’s not even being utilized.
“I think that is pretty brazen of the four council members who are for purchasing the building, and it’s for stature to purchase the building, it’s just for aesthetics only, it does not serve the community in any other way whatsoever,” says Riser.
The purchase has not been finalized. City Council members along with Oak Hill residents planned to meet at 5:30 Monday evening for a special session that residents hope will resolve some unanswered questions about the purchase.