These villages that sell their town hall to save money
“Keeping buildings that are no longer in use and that are deteriorating does not give us anything», says Michel Richard, mayor of Tessy-Bocage, in Manche (50), a new town made up of 4 historic towns: Pont-Farcy, Fervaches, Plaines-Œuvres and Tessy-sur-Vire. Thus, the commune of Pont-Farcy separated from its city hall a few years ago just like that of Plaines-Œuvres. The Pont-Farcy town hall was sold to private individuals who restored it and rented it out year-round. Fervaches also sold its town hall just a month ago to a couple who have set up their main residence there. Each of these town halls found takers for around 100,000 euros. These 4 municipalities thus have a single mayor and have one delegate per village. It is the town hall of Tessy-sur-Vire which has been preserved. “The premises of Pont-Farcy, Fervaches and Plaines-Œuvres therefore no longer need to be“, he assures. By merging the town halls in this way, great savings are emerging.
“We are looking for economies of scale, is it worth maintaining three buildings for a single function (Editor’s note that of mayor) ? The opening time of these historic town halls was one or two mornings a week. Now, the town hall of Tessy-Bocage is open almost all week, including Saturday mornings“, he completes. A recycling of virtuous premises since the town hall of Pont-Farcy housed a school before and that of Fervaches, the premises of the school director. They have now become simple dwelling houses.
A former presbytery shared as a school and town hall
The deputy mayor of Truttemer-le-Grand, in Calvados (14), Pierre-Henri Gallier, also sold his town hall in 2022 and estimates that this sale saves the municipality 2000 euros per year. This sum is equivalent to what the town hall spent on heating, electricity, water and insurance. “Long before the rise in energy costs linked to the war in Ukraine, the maintenance of the town hall was too expensive for us. The roof had become dilapidated, the windows had to be changed and the building was no longer up to electrical standards.», justifies the deputy mayor.
Truttemer-le-Grand is now a delegated municipality within the new municipality of Vire-Normandie which has 8 municipalities in all. However, each delegated mayor retains his own town hall.for reasons of proximity and to maintain its independence and its own operating budget with regard to schools and businesses», as Pierre-Henri Gallier points out. He therefore restored an old presbytery which he shared in the town hall and in the nursery and primary school. “It was already used as a school but the town hall was also installed there.he explains. This new town hall is located only 400 meters from the old one, which does not disturb the inhabitants.
An individual acquired it for 45,000 euros in order to establish his main residence there. A modest sum for a property of 90 square meters which is explained by the deterioration of the town hall. The town of Truttemer-le-Grand took no less than a year to get rid of its town hall due to the dilapidated state of the building. Will the rise in energy prices force other municipalities to separate from their town halls in order to reduce costs?