01/19/05 — City approves money to renovate Paramount Theatre exterior

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City approves money to renovate Paramount Theatre exterior

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on January 19, 2005 2:15 PM

The Goldsboro City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to spend $64,800 to repair the exterior of the Paramount Theater.

Goldsboro assumed ownership of the theater in 1993, after extensive interior renovations.

The outside walls of the Center Street theater consist of the original 1882 bricks and mortar joints. City Manager Richard Slozak told the council that the deterioriation of the outside wall was allowing moisture to seep inside. Plaster walls inside are showing the effects, he said, with plaster cracking and falling off interior walls. There is no point repairing the inside until the cause of the problem is fixed, Slozak said.

"We have to waterproof the outside walls," he said.

Neil S. Weeks Construction Company was the low bidder for the project.

Slozak said the project can be completed in six weeks, if weather is good. If not, it could take up to four months to complete the work, he said.

In other business, the council decided to extend the period in which the city can issue its sewer bonds.

The city received permission for an extension in November from the state Local Government Commission. The city's authority to issue these particular bonds is scheduled to expire later this year.

In 1998, Goldsboro voters approved $28 million in sewer and street bonds. The city had planned to use the $22 million in sewer bonds to expand its wastewater treatment plant, make improvements in the sewage system and meet environmental regulations designed to reduce pollution in the Neuse River.

But the city chose not to issue the bonds for the improvements in the sewage system. Instead, it received a $15 million low-interest loan and a $3 million loan from the Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund. The interest rate on the state loans was about half what it would be from the sale of the city bonds.

The city then decided to use $7 million of the sewer bond money for extending sewer lines to an area it planned to annex. The proposed annexation includes the east and west sides of Salem Church Road and the north and south sides of Buck Swamp Road.

But as long as the legal fight with residents of the proposed annexed area continues, the city can't get the money from the bonds.

During a public hearing, a resident of the proposed annexation area urged the council to carefully consider its decision. Bill Burnette asked the board to consider the original intention of the voters when the bond issue was passed. He also asked them if using the money to install sewer lines for an annexation, instead of repairing existing lines, followed the spirit of the law.

*No one spoke at a public hearing regarding a request from Cannon Management Services to build a 5,100-square-foot office building on the east side of Gracie Place between Wayne Memorial Drive and Gracie Place Terminus. The council is scheduled to vote on the request at its Feb. 7 meeting.

*Bill Hunter, president of Eastern Aluminum, spoke in favor of his company's request to add an open shelter at its location on the west side of Oak Forest Road between U.S. Highway 70 East and Central Heights Road. The council will vote on Eastern Aluminum's request at its Feb. 7 meeting.