Etowah residents hold meeting over location of city hall - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Etowah residents hold meeting over location of city hall

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Photo by WRCB reporter Kasey Freeman. Photo by WRCB reporter Kasey Freeman.
ETOWAH, TN (WRCB) -

The city of Etowah is now on the hunt for a new building for city hall. The goal was to find a new building by the end of the year.

Community members are outraged by the city purchasing a trailer for city hall.

The city looked at a number of buildings in the city and had six options. The majority of them were on Tennessee Avenue.

However, city leaders decided to go a different route and many community members are upset.

Etowah City Hall is currently located in the basement of a library.

After many decades, it now has mold, which left city leaders looking for another building.

“They're both going to be kind of close to the doctors office. It is a little bit more money but it already has a parking lot,” Etowah Mayor Gene Keller says. “The building up here, the modular building, is a little bit less but we have to do a parking lot and landscaping.”

Many community members are concerned about the location.

Both of these buildings are located about a mile outside of the historic downtown area.

“One of the driving forces they suggest is that cities, in order to grow their cities, will have critical mass in the downtown area,” says Durant Tullock, executive director of the Etowah Chamber of Commerce.

Durant Tullock says having a modular building will hurt the city’s economy.

“When you have an impressive building that shows businesses when you come in that you're really in business you're not temporary and you're not in a disposable society,” Tullock says.

Many community members took to Facebook to show concerns about the appearance of the building because they say the modular building resembles a trailer.

“That's a common misconception,” Mayor Keller says. “It's a building that's built in a factory under tight factory quality controls and they build it in segments then they deliver it and they erect it and it's on a concrete floor.”

The city commissioners have decided to continue to look for other options for city hall.

They will even reach out to the Southeast Tennessee Development District for help.

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