Hillview acquires St. Mary property

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By The Staff

    HILLVIEW - Church and state are never to meet.

    However, the city of Hillview has ended its mission of finding a new home to its governmental offices.

    On Monday, the Hillview City Council approved the financing to purchase the St. Mary Catholic Church property on Crestwood Lane. The parish was merged with St. Jerome in Fairdale and all activities are now conducted at the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta facility in Jefferson County.

    With the city hall/community center on Prairie Drive overcrowded, officials have been looking for a new location for several years.

    In the $1 million purchase, Hillview will have 10.3 acres of property, a 14,000 square foot facility, a ball field, a rectory home and a three-car garage.

    “It’s a perfect situation,” said mayor Jim Eadens.

    The Archdiocese of Louisville is the property owner and has agreed to the $1 million contract, according to Eadens. The city will borrow $1.7 million through the Kentucky League of Cities.

    The mayor said this would allow the city to combine payments on the Ferguson Lane property and also have about $200,000 to renovate the church and the current community center.

    The main structure has 14,000 square feet and Eadens said the council chambers would be housed in the open sanctuary portion of the church.

    Eadens said he would have a chamber table built, similar to those used in Shepherdsville and Mount Washington.

    To solve the biggest concern of meeting attendees, Eadens said a quality sound system would be installed.

    City hall offices would be to the right of the entrance and include a payment window. The kitchen would remain, although the city will have to purchase some appliances.

    The police department would go into the rear portion of the building. There would be a separate entrance and Eadens said a drive would run to Skyline Drive for police traffic only. A gate would stop through traffic from using the roadway.

    The rectory house would be leased out and help generate revenue for normal upkeep.

    The three-bay garage would be used by the police for an evidence storage area and the public works to store a tractor.

    The city would have ownership of the softball field, which has been used for years. The lights have been sold and Eadens said the city might look to lease out the field for leagues.

    At the current facilities, recreation director Terry Bohannon will have a lot more space to have activities and for rentals, said Eadens.

    “She does a fantastic job,” said Eadens.

    He anticipates having some office space for the city’s emergency response team and Bohannon would have the rest.

    The weekly bluegrass show would move to the new facility when it is completed.

    The current police station could also be used for rentals.

    Financing for the project should be completed in early June. The KLC offer came at the last minute after the city sent letters to all area lending institutions.

    Under provisions of the KLC loan, the 10-year fixed rate would be 3.48 percent and the 20-year fixed could be a little higher than the 3.58 percent quoted. Eadens said if that amount was much higher, he would bring the matter back to the council.

    “I don’t think we could have found any better property,” said Eadens.

    Public works director Jim Bohannon will oversee the renovations at the new facility. Eadens said there is no hurry in making the move but some things could relocate later this summer.

    The city has looked at building a facility near Tanyard Springs but the price tag of $2.6 million was beyond the city’s budget. Officials also looked at purchasing a former car dealership on Preston Highway.