Spring Hill city leaders are asking the community to weigh in on an important decision; whether the city should first pursue the construction of a new public library or police station.
The topic of which project to tackle first was discussed heavily during a Spring Hill Board of Mayor and Aldermen retreat last month, and with the city having just $15 million in remaining debt capacity for the 2022-23 fiscal year, potentially only one project can be tackled in the immediate future.
The city had originally planned to house a new library and police station at the Northfield Workforce Development Center after purchasing the building for $8.18 million in 2017. Those plans were soon derailed, however, after debates over the condition of the building led to the city selling Northfield for $9.2 million to Worldwide Stages, an entertainment company bent on transforming the building into a rehearsal venue.
Now, almost four years later, the city is still without a new library or police station.
“We have to take the city where we found it,” said City Administrator Pam Caskie, according to a city news release. “We cannot lament the decisions of boards before us because they did what they felt was best for the city at that time.”
Spring Hill's current library has existed at its current location on Kedron Parkway since 2002, and at just 17,000 square feet, has long been outgrown by the city's more than 50,000 residents.
The Spring Hill Police Station exists at two locations; one connected to City Hall on Town Center Parkway, and another facility off of Kedron Road.
Design and construction costs for the library are estimated around $19 million, whereas estimates for the police station reach $31 million, according to the release.