LUBBOCK, Texas – The Lubbock City Council held its first open session in the new Citizens Tower on Tuesday afternoon.
The City had plans to slowly move in to the tower back in November of 2019 and eventually begin hosting public meetings in December, but Mayor Dan Pope said restoring Citizens Tower, originally built in 1963, took much longer than expected.
“The bad news is that we’re late, the good news is we’re within the budget,” said Pope.
The $64.5 million project includes an upgraded council chamber that includes professional-grade lighting, HD cameras, and an audio system that is on par with much bigger cities.
“It’s a better experience for those in the chambers and maybe even more importantly for the way we broadcast whether it be on TV or through the web,” said Pope. “A lot of our citizens rely on that.”
The chambers also include added technology for residents wanting to make their concerns heard at council meetings.
“If a citizen were to come for a public hearing for instance and wanted to show a document, we have a document camera. If they wanted to plug a file or a thumb drive in with a file on it we can do that,” said Pope.
While over five months behind schedule, Pope believes Citizens Tower will properly serve the people it is named for.
“We’ll be able to go about our business in a much better way by getting the information we need to make decisions,” said Pope. “At the same time, providing information to citizens that are the real stakeholders watching what we do.”