The town of Batesburg-Leesville has a new base of operations for council meetings, planning and zoning, administration and customer service.
Employees unveiled the new Town Hall Monday and were proud to show off the facility they say corresponds with the town’s recent growth and leaves room for more.
“Over the years, I’ve seen the town advance, and it was time for Town Hall to catch up,” zoning and business licensing Director Patricia Saeed said.
Town staff moved out of the former bank facility and were ready to serve residents at the new location on Church Street on Oct. 5. Town hall occupies a building once used by Lexington County Community Mental Health Center’s Batesburg-Leesville offices.
Town officials were able to sell the former Town Hall building to AllSouth Federal Credit Union and used the funds for a down payment on the new facility. Even after $115,000 in renovations, including energy-efficient lighting, Town Manager Ted Luckadoo said the $745,000 cost was much better than what would have been spent on new construction.
Town employees went from working in four offices to eight, and their square footage tripled from 2,000 to about 6,500. The new facility also boasts upgraded security and a larger lobby for busy customer days.
Commercial and residential development has been coming to Batesburg-Leesville steadily for the past 10 years, and the need for a new Town Hall became apparent about five years ago.
“We are experiencing a lot of good growth,” Luckadoo said. “As our town grows, so do staff and services.”
Saeed said it’s the small-town feel that draws people to live in Batesburg-Leesville.
Municipal Clerk Judy Edwards has seen four Town Halls in her 37 years of working for Batesburg and later Batesburg-Leesville. She said the newest is by far the best, primarily because of the room to breathe.
“We’ve been crowded for so long,” she said.
The Nov. 9 Town Council meeting will be the first at the new facility after years of meetings that took place at the police department. The public seating area is larger, and council members have an updated conference room for executive session discussions.
“We wanted to give council a better space to do town business,” Luckadoo said.
The council chambers also can be rented out for events and town gatherings.
Courtesy of ColaDail.com