SULPHUR — The Sulphur City Council approved the introduction of an ordinance authorizing the city to purchase the Gathering People Church building and property, located at 1551 Napoleon St., at the regular council meeting Monday night.
The item will be on the July council meeting agenda as a public hearing.
Mayor Mike Danahay said it became evident in 2018 that the city's current courthouse on Huntington was no longer able to meet the city's needs. The property in consideration is more than 45,000 sq. ft., approximately the same size as all municipal buildings combined. If approved, the building will be retrofitted to include the City Court, Marshal's Office, permitting and licensing departments, administrative offices and City Council Chambers. Danahay said plans for future expansion include bringing in the Clerk of Court and Tax Assessor offices.
Both parties have agreed to an asking price of $2.6 million. "We believe it's a fair asking price for the building and the land," said Danahay, noting its location at the corner of two major thoroughfares — La. Hwy. 90 and Beglis Parkway.
The Council also approved the ratification of the purchase agreement. There will be further inspections and appraisals done and if the building is deemed unsuitable, or the Council chooses not to pass the resolution, the city is back out of the agreement with no penalty.
The current City Hall will be retrofitted to serve as Central Fire Station. The original firehouse, located at 602 N. Huntington St., was closed due to black mold in early 2017. The police department will make use of the current Council Chambers at 500 N. Huntington St. and the current courthouse, formerly Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church, will likely be purchased by the Diocese of Lake Charles.
The Council also approved setting millage rates for the 2019 tax year at 15.52 mills, the same as last year.
In other news the council:
• Approved the advertisement of bids for the 2018 Street Rehabilitation package,
• Appointed the Southwest Daily News as the Official Journal for the City of Sulphur, and
• Authorized an agreement with Julian Quebedeaux for the videoing of Sulphur Council meetings.
The next meeting of the Sulphur City Council is at 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 8, in Council Chambers at 500 N. Huntington St.