It’s now square one for Pauls Valley municipal officials as a local bank’s move opens the door for renovation work to begin for what will soon be the new home of city hall.

Those plans are about to kick into high gear after Pauls Valley’s First United Bank moved earlier this week out of its historic building and into a brand new facility, complete with a drive-through site, at the corner of West Grant and North Ash streets

That means work is expected to begin in a matter of days with the final objective being to convert the bank’s former building at the corner of West Paul and North Chickasaw streets into the new city hall.

“We plan to do some remodeling as soon as they give us the keys,” City Manager James Frizell said.

He added those keys should be turned over sometime this week.

The city manager also anticipates the new city hall could open its doors to the public in as early as a month.

“I hope to be in within 30 days,” Frizell said.

Before that can happen a couple of things must happen first.

Top priority outside the building is to make the facility accessible to the handicapped.

That means addressing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issues related to the historic Pauls Valley building.

“The main thing is to overcome the ADA issues. We need to fix that,” Frizell said.

“We need to do a ramp or special lift,” he said.

The ramp or “open platform” will go the 40 inches or so from the street to the level of the building’s entrance.

The main interior focus will be to get the inside of the building ready to go as a municipal office rather than a bank facility.

“We need to build a wall to separate the offices from the lobby area.”

Frizell said work is now underway to put together the specifications needed to publicly bid out the two projects.

The move was made possible when a property swap agreement was formalized in April 2004 between First United and the city of Pauls Valley.

In addition to the new facility, the bank will eventually be given the building in the 200 block of North Walnut now housing the local police department.

In return, the local municipal government will not only relocate city hall to the former bank building but it will also take possession of the bank’s drive-through facility located on South Willow Street.

It remains uncertain if plans will become reality to construct a new police station on the Willow site or the law enforcement department will go to another location.

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