City officials have finally moved into the city offices that some thought would never be built.
Since the new $427,000 Lehi City office building, 153 N. 100 East, was completed in early March, workers have been moving equipment - computers, typewriters, filing cabinets, desks and chairs - just a short stretch from the old building at 95 E. 100 North.The new building houses the city's administrative departments, including Lehi's billing departments, the city recorder's office and administrative secretaries and clerks, as well as an office for Mayor Guy Cash. The building was constructed at the site of the city's old junior high school and sits alongside Lehi's public safety building, which was completed in 1989.
The move was finally completed at the end of the month, much to the delight of city officials.
"I love the new building," Cash said. "It's wonderful - we have elegant new council chambers and a lovely conference room. We were so crowded in the other building."
Those comments may sound like a stark contrast to Cash's opinions when construction plans for the new building were proposed to Cash and the City Council last spring.
Both Cash and the council initially agreed that the old offices, which were in an old church building the city purchased from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had deteriorated to the point that a new site was needed.However, the council fought with Cash over the project because he preferred to see the administrative offices housed within the city's old Memorial Building, 51 N. Center, and having the building remodeled and restored for about $315,000.
Cash declined to sign the initial bid for the new project, originally estimated at $447,800, though the council voted 4-1 to accept a lowered bid of $419,000.
After the original accepted bid expired last April, Councilman Keith Jenkins worked with contractors to submit a bid of $427,000, and Cash relented and signed the contract after the council began a motion to appoint a pro-tem mayor to sign the contract.
Cash now says the reason he objected to the project was its timing. Cash still fosters the cause of restoring the Memorial Building, including having budgeted $50,000 in capital improvement funds to go toward renovating the building.
"I just didn't believe then that the timing on the new building was right, and that we could combine both the administration project and the renovation," he said. "But I don't bear any grudges, and I think the new building is great."
In the meantime, Cooper/Roberts Architects is performing feasibility studies on renovating the Memorial Building and the city's downtown area. Lehi is also setting aside proceeds from its new recycling program to aid in that project.