PORTERDALE, Ga. – An idea first discussed less than a year ago became a reality Thursday afternoon in Porterdale when Mayor Arline Chapman, Newton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Marcello Banes and other city and county leaders officially cut the green ribbon on the town’s new city hall.
The building has been open for business since Aug. 28.
City Manager Bob Thomson called the new city hall, in the building that once housed the Porterdale Volunteer Fire Department, the result of good political leadership.
“We’ve had a series of good years of effective political leadership,” he said. “The mayor and council have led us through SPLOST campaigns, through the gymnasium repurposing, the dedication of the kayak launch. The mayor’s had several initiatives like pocket parks and the city council has been really good, consistent political leadership.”
Thomson said a majority renovations on the building were completed by the city’s public works department. Public Works Director Robert Witcher said he used contractors for a few jobs on the project, including electrical, air conditioning and sheetrock finishing.
Thomson praised the job done by Witcher’s team.
“People really care about what they do here,” he said.
Councilwoman Linda Finger, who serves as the chairperson of the city’s budget advisory committee, said the city completed the project within its allotted budget.
“We are well under $90,000 for this entire build out,” she said. “I think once all the numbers are crunched, it’s going to be closer to $80,000.
“We’ve been very fortunate. And again, Robert Witcher made it happen.”
Mayor Arline Chapman commended the city’s staff as she welcomed those in attendance.
“I want to commend all of our staff”, she said. “This has been a cooperative effort in planning and execution and we’re all really very proud of it.”
Chapman said the city initially wanted to build a new city hall building. When the fire station building defaulted to the city, the idea of renovating it came up as the building was being cleaned out late last year.
“We have a good city hall now,” she said. “We’ll be able to use it for a long time.”