Portland city employees and residents were excited that the newly renovated City Hall opened on Monday, March 29.
All services have returned to the building. During the renovation, offices were moved to two buildings in town, which included the donation of The Farmers Bank Branch to the City, and the use of the former Sumner Employment Exchange, Inc. building by Jaska Collins Russell.
The renovated building has many safety features for employees and citizens. Those coming into city hall will no longer walk to the offices they wish to do business with, but will wait in the lobby until someone comes to get them.
The drive-thru window provides a safer exit for those leaving the building. The council chambers will also have safety features and will seat approximately 60 people. The additional parking lots in the back of the building add to the safety features of the building.
The purchase of the concrete block building facing South Russell has allowed a directional change in the exiting and entrance of High Street from/to South Russell near the train tracks. The new exit /entrance is still on South Russell but is on the opposite side of city hall.
Mayor Mike Callis said, “We are excited to be in the new building, and look forward to our community using it for many years to come. City Hall was a big project, but even more so during the uncertainty of a pandemic.
“Our employees really pulled together to make the move out and back in pretty easy. A big thank you goes out to Jaska Russell, Larry Collins, and The Farmer’s Bank for providing all of the extra space that made it easier on our citizens.”