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Residents protest as Carlyle considers buying former church building

A plan to move the Carlyle City Hall to a former church is causing public outcry among residents.

The Carlyle City Council is considering purchasing the Carlyle Christian Church to use it as a new City Hall, police department or both.

Officials are also considering purchasing the vacant HMG building next to the church for similar purposes.

Currently the City Hall and police department share a downtown building on Franklin Street, but Mayor Judy Smith told the Breese Journal that they have outgrown the 3,620-square-foot building and it needs expensive repairs and more parking. Smith said the police department must keep vast records on cases awaiting prosecution, and the "paper-thin" walls mean people can overhear conversations that should be private.

But more than 50 people showed up at the meeting, many protesting the move that would take City Hall and the police department out of downtown, albeit about a 1-minute drive, according to the Journal.

Other scenarios included buying out other vacant properties or replacing existing businesses. The top contender was the Carlyle Christian Church, which is 8,500 square feet and would cost $360,000 with remodeling costs of $20,000. The adjacent vacant building would be another $250-350,000.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald

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