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      City of Florence wants a new home

      Florence City council members passed the first reading on an ordinance Monday afternoon to move all city offices from the Florence City County Complex on North Irby Street to the City Center building on West Evans Street.

      A second and final reading will be held in two weeks.

      Florence County Council has to meet on the matter to relieve the city from its obligations at the complex.

      The city hopes to close on the building by December 1 and move into it by July 1.

      The city has operated on six floors of the county complex since 1972.

      Florence City Manager Drew Griffin says they've outgrown the 40,000 square feet of space they're using at the complex.

      "You're just kind of scattered all over. Scattered from basement to the six floor. It's confusing to residents," Griffin added .

      Griffin also stated that parking is always a problem whenever court is in session, even though they've created additional parking on Baroody Street.

      The City Center is about 70,000 square feet and once housed Fleet Financial. It's been vacant for several years.

      Griffin says Doctors Bruce and Lee Foundation will buy the building and lease it back to the city for not more than 20 years.