Fayette County

City hall task force is created

Vice Mayor Jim Gray on Thursday announced the formation of the Government Center Task Force, a group that will work with Mayor Jim Newberry's administration in drafting a request for proposal that includes a location study and specifications to begin the design phase for a new city hall.

The request for proposal would be used to hire a consultant to lead the city in a location feasibility study and to design the new government center.

Council members have generally agreed that the city needs to build a new Urban County Government Center rather than continuing to repair its current buildings. At issue has been where that new building should be.

The core task force has 11 members, with Gray serving as the chairman. There will also be a seven-member professional advisory group, which includes the current and former deans of the University of Kentucky's College of Design. An ad hoc group including Newberry, U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler and council members will also aid the task force.

The council asked Gray to appoint the task force in September. But since then, "the economy crashed so the urgency diminished," Gray said.