Princeton considers new town hall
By Jack Stephens
Published in News on November 2, 2004 1:58 PM
PRINCETON -- Princeton wants a new town hall to replace a building that town officials say is outdated and has a leaky roof.
Town Commissioner Larry Withrow says the town has three options -- renovating the current building on South Pine Street, renovating the nearby Gurley Antiques building, or buying land and building a new town hall.
Withrow told the town board Monday night that he had met with C.T. Clayton Sr., the town's contracted engineer from New Bern, and came up with the options.
Renovating the existing building could be done in two phases -- the first for the Police Department and the second for the Town Hall and meeting room.
Withrow said taking over the Gurley site a few doors away would cost the least. He said there was enough room downstairs for the police and town offices. He said the building was in "amazingly good condition. I saw no evidence of leaks. Every part of the building seems safe."
Withrow also suggested that the current Town Hall and old fire department could be torn down and converted to a parking lot.
The third option would be to buy land and build a new town hall.
Mayor Don Rains announced that the town's Park Committee prioritized six needs for the Ray M. Floors Park. Clayton said his $3,000 engineering contract would include three items -- landscaping for trees and installation of water and sewer and three fountains. The four-man board unanimously approved the three projects.
The committee has received $13,000 from fund-raisers and $9,000 from donations, the mayor said. The Princeton Men's Club also donated $1,500. Rains noted that the town must match any grants received.
Rains also said vacancies needed to be filled on the park committee and the nonprofit park foundation that will raise funds. Any Princeton resident interested was asked to contact Town Hall at 936-8171.
Princeton telephone customers will be able to call Raleigh and Wake County for free. Mayor Rains told the board that Sprint has approved the plan, and BellSouth, whose territory is crossed, also must approve it. He said final approval might come by March.
"This is great news," Rains said. "It opens a lot of possibilities for saving money to call Raleigh and for recruiting industries and business."
Princeton was the last Johnston County town to get toll-free calling to Raleigh.
In other business, the town board:
*Scheduled a special meeting Nov. 16 to award a bid to repair water lines on Third and First streets and to receive an annexation petition.
*Agreed to take part in the Christmas parade and Christmas tree lighting.
*Scheduled a planning retreat Feb. 5 at Atlantic Beach.
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