Judge nixes plan to convert church into new city hall

DIAMONDHEAD — A Chancery Court judge has blocked the city of Diamondhead’s plans to purchase a Baptist church building as part of an estimated $1.6 million project to convert it into City Hall.

The Sun Herald reports Judge Jennifer Schloegel ruled that since the lease-purchase agreement was finished after April 1, the project couldn’t move forward.

City Attorney Sean Tindell said it comes down to a state law that prevents “lame duck” city councils from voting on something that involves more than a quarter of the city budget between April 1 and the date the new council took office.

Diamondhead became a city after incorporating in 2012. The mayor and city council served as interim officials until city elections could be held this year. Most of the interim officials were voted out.

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