The City of Robstown is looking to build a new city hall along Main Ave., but negotiations with a property owner on the proposed site have stalled in recent weeks, city officials said last week.

Roy Gutierrez, superintendent of the Robstown Utilities Systems, is in charge of negotiating with property owners to acquire the land that will be needed for the proposed 15,000-square-foot facility. That is nearly double the size of the 8,200-square-foot building that is the current city hall.

That facility was built in 1953 and, at the moment, houses the city administration, Robstown Utilities Systems and Emergency Operations Center.

Three of the four property owners along Second Street and Main Avenue have already agreed to terms that would allow the city to purchase or make an even trade for the 31,500 square feet of property that will be needed for the new city hall. In one instance, property belonging to a local church's organization is being given to the city in return for the city finding the organization a new home.

"They said they didn't want any money, they just wanted us to find them somewhere else to go," Gutierrez said last week.

City secretary Paula Wakefield said the city has purchased the old county clinic on Main Avenue as the replacement property for the organization. The sale of that clinic was approved Aug. 5 by Nueces County Commissioners for $115,000.

At the moment, one property owner is asking for more money for his land than the appraised value, Gutierrez said. Because the homes on the property are being rented out by the landowner, the city is working to bring the negotiations to a conclusion that will benefit both parties.

"We want to make sure everything is done right," Gutierrez said.

The city is awaiting word from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on whether its application for a $4.95 million grant for the city hall's construction has been approved. A preliminary environmental assessment of the proposed site is currently being conducted by city officials, Wakefield said.

On Aug. 13, City of Robstown leaders recently met with newly appointed administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Housing and Community Facilities Programs at Rural Development, Tammye Trevino.

Trevino was appointed in June to the position, which will help oversee the awarding of grants to fund projects, like the proposed city hall in Robstown, in rural areas all over the country.

Since 199, Trevino served as a chief executive officer for FUTURO, a Uvalde nonprofit organization that provides housing, business, community development and technical assistance. Before that, from 1998 to 1999, she was the economic development director for LaSalle County, where her accomplishments included the conversion of a 47-county, South Texas think tank into a nonprofit organization to work on regional economic development and other issues.

Members of the Robstown City Council presented Trevino with a key to the city after a presentation showing the city's plans for the proposed city hall.