The City of Winchester is going to be moving into their new City Hall soon. The city acquired the old First State Bank building on East Market Street back in August last year and have been making plans to move there ever since. Mayor Rex McIntyre talks about some of the renovations that have slowed down the transition. “We found out Ameren has a code where you can’t have meters indoors. We had a couple of meters upstairs indoors. They want us to eliminate those. We’re doing some electrical work in the entire building, which was unforeseen. It’s coming right along. I’m hoping by the end of this month we will have everything lined up so we can start moving and get in the building in February.”
McIntyre says that they’ve been paving the way for city officials to have private offices at the new building as well as having more space for open meetings. “We’ve been cleaning it up. Mainly, we’ve done some new flooring and stripped a lot of wallpaper and walls, where we’ve cleaned them up and painted them. Some of the existing floors, we’ve cleaned and redone. We have put in some cabinets off of the community room to create a kitchen there where that can be utilized for people wanting to use the room. It’ll be a heck of an upgrade.”
McIntyre says that the police department will remain in the old City Hall building despite some push back. “I know there was a disagreement among some members of the department wanting more of a presence and visibility up on the square. There are so many things that would have had to have been moved. There’s a generator and an antenna for emergency use and things of that nature that would have had to have been moved. The City Council voted 4-2 last week to let the police department have the front office of the current City Hall where the City Clerk’s office is now. Then, the fire department is going to get our council chambers for their use. The city crew will still have a lot of presence down at the current city hall because they have a lot of equipment there, but they are going to have an office at the new building.”
The bank building, which sits on the city square, will now give residents to shop at businesses and pay their bills. McIntyre said that he’s happy that residents will have more parking available, especially handicapped accessible parking. McIntyre said that he’s happy that historically significant bank building will now be back in prominent use in the community.