Portsmouth City Council votes to appropriate nearly $500K to move city buildings

Portsmouth

A small crowd of protesters marches from Portsmouth City Hall to the Commodore Theater. The group said they’re fed up with city politics following the firing of the city attorney Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. (WAVY photo/Geena Arevalo)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth City Council has appropriated nearly $500,000 to relocate the civic center, police station and magistrates office.

The money for relocation doesn’t include the jail, which has stay from the judge, according to Burle Stromberg, assistant city attorney.

The money will go toward the construction of a new building the city will lease for the offices.

City Council voted to appropriate the funds at their most recent meeting.

Back in July, City manager Lydia Pettis-Patton deemed the jail
“uninhabitable.” The sheriff fired back, filing a lawsuit and saying the city gave little notice with the determination about the jail.

The fate of the jail will be determined through court proceedings.

Stromberg said negotiations for a lease for the relocation for a building near the current courthouse are underway, and “they are rushing to get this done as soon as possible.”

Relocating city hall and the public safety buildings has been the plan for years now, and last year, developer Armada Hoffler gave the city an unsolicited proposal for these new facilities. 

At a public hearing in September, many residents who spoke said that location wasn’t central enough. Some also wanted other developer offers to be considered.

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