Gautier employees move into newly renovated city hall

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - It is moving day in Gautier for dozens of city employees. They're trading their small trailer for a bigger and better city hall.

"This is a great Christmas gift and a New Year's gift," City Clerk Adrienne Howell said.

"This is an exciting day for us," City Manager Sidney Runnels said.

Runnels is excited because for eight months he's worked in cramped conditions.

"The walls got kind of tight, and the hallways definitely were crowded."

Runnels and his employees had to move out of their offices in April, so Katrina's mold could be cleaned away, and several storm related leaks could be repaired.  He said the city applied for federal help, but was turned down.

"It took us basically three years to find out."

So the city turned to insurance money and Katrina relief funds to cover the costs of the city hall facelift. There are now larger offices, a break area and a fire resistant room to store city documents. But the talk of the office is this new conference room.

"We had to try to share the same council chamber for everything. The conference room we have now is really going to make a big difference and take a lot of that juggling stress off of us," Grant Coordinator Michelle Troyer said.

City employees expect the new improvements will make their jobs easier, and give customers and visitors a nicer, more comfortable place to do business.  The city manager said the project cost $475,000 to complete.

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