Gunter city hall deteriorating

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GUNTER, TX -- Gunter city council members say city hall is deteriorating to the point that it's unsafe and a new facility is long overdue.

Gunter's city hall sits in a building that was constructed nearly 100 years ago and council members say that due to its current condition its a matter of safety that they move out and move out soon.

"It's just not habitable and I'd imagine if an inspector came in here to inspect this for health reasons, we'd be shut down," said Larry Peter, Gunter city councilman.

The city of Gunter is trying to build a new city hall and said their current building is completely falling apart.

"The bricks on the outside is held together with insulation foam, rubber stuff, and on the back side the bricks are literally falling off the wall," said Peters.

The Gunter city hall has been housed in the same building for over 20 years. A building city officials said was constructed nearly a century ago. But recently the problems have become too much to handle.

"Within the last three months this has really came to light that we've got to get our staff out of here because its going to fall in," said Peters.

Council members say their city hall is infested with spiders and termites. Mold has also become a growing problem...but that's not all.

"Outdated hardware, our air conditioner and all these kinds of things that are long over used. So just about anything you want to look at, you can find something wrong with it," said Charles Skeen, Gunter Mayor pro tem.

Council member Larry Peters said he's been trying to find a new location for city hall for the past three years and the entire council agrees. The problem is the cost of building a new facility.

"The current problems that we've had it that we can't find any money, can't find any grants. The only thing we are able to find is U.S.D.A," said Peters.

They'll set up shop in a temporary facility just down the street in mid-April.

Now the challenge is building a new city hall without raising taxes on their residents.

"Well the city hall is like your churches and schools. I feel like it should be one of the nicest buildings in town," said Skeen.

"Its very timely that we get out of here and get something built. Scrap this place and lets move on and get something in Gunter that we can all...all the citizens be proud of," said Peters.

The current city hall is about 2,000 square feet but they said they need about 10,000 square feet of space.

Council members said they plan to start moving into their temporary facility in about two-weeks and hope to have a new city hall built in about 24 months.