Posted: Tuesday, December 11th 2012 at 9:33am
Lula Historical Society gets home in old city hall
By Rob Moore Editor
LULA – The Lula Historical Society is ready to begin dressing up its new home in the former Lula City Hall on Main Street.
A 3-0 vote by the Lula City Council in November cleared the way for the one-year lease, which remained under discussion Monday night.
Mayor Milton Turner told the council that City Attorney Brad Patten had given additional input on the issue at 6 p.m. Monday.
“It is not a conflict as long as there is a public benefit of this building, so if y’all have general consent that there’s a public benefit back to the community as far as historical display and those type things, then we can sign the lease,” Turner said. “I have the lease in front of me. I just read it … but it’s got to be redone again.”
Turner said the lease contains errors that need to be corrected before it’s signed, but the terms have been agreed upon.
Mayor Pro Tem Vicky Chambers, who with Councilmember Norm Harrop abstained from the November vote because of their affiliation with the historical society, explained what the group hopes to do with the building.
“Our goal is to turn it not only into a historical research library type thing, but to store memorabilia from the city, and to have it open some hours of the month for the public,” Chambers said.
Harrop said the historical society hopes to have it open “a couple of days a month.”
The historical society has agreed to pay for utilities and maintenance of the building, which also formerly served as Lula Jail and still has the bars on the basement windows.
The building, which was restored in 1997, currently is vacant.
A granite marker to the left of the front door was placed in 1999 by R.C. Bryan in memory of Marshal H. Vilus Martin and Marshal Jack C. Bryan, officers killed in the line of duty at Lula Jail on March 8, 1923.
An inmate work crew, contracted by the City of Lula recently to help out in the city, has been working to repair the floor in the building, which had become spongy.
“Norm has already suggested to me they want to get in there and start painting,” said City Manager Dennis Bergin.
Also as part of the November action, the council also agreed to work with Ricky Autry of Autry Auto Sales on sharing the unopened street that runs between the old city hall and his car lot. Autry had moved the two cars he had parked there after the council, at last month’s work session, said it was considering not renewing the agreement allowing Autry to park there.
“What have I done to offend the council?” Autry asked the mayor and council at its November council meeting.
Autry was assured that the city was not singling him out, but since there is no parking for the old city hall the city was looking for a way to accommodate users.
Harrop said he brought up the issue during the November work session out of concern for parking at the old city hall.
At the November meeting, Autry presented the council with a hand-drawn sketch of proposed parking improvements on the property in question. The council and Autry agreed to work together to share use of the property.
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