12/14/05 — Princeton board approves loan for new town hall

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Princeton board approves loan for new town hall

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on December 14, 2005 1:47 PM

PRINCETON -- The Princeton town board has passed a resolution for an additional $200,000 loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to pay for the construction of a new town hall.

The loan will give the town $900,000 for the new building that will be constructed on West Dr. Donnie Jones Boulevard near the Princeton Rescue Squad building.

"We're getting closer," Assistant Town Clerk Kay Earp said Tuesday. "We can't wait."

The current Town Hall on South Pine Street has limited space for town employees and the Police Department. During rainstorms, the roof leaks.

Princeton already had obtained a $400,000 loan and a $300,000 grant from the USDA.

The town board quickly approved the resolution unanimously during a called meeting Monday night in Town Hall.

Mrs. Earp said the paperwork for the loan will be sent to the state and then be forwarded to the USDA. The town will send its copy to the Local Government Commission for approval.

The commission meets regularly on the first Tuesday night each month. But Mrs. Earp said she did not know if it would meet Jan. 3, because of the New Year's holiday, or Jan. 10.

The town board awarded a contract in November to Durwood Stephenson and Associates Inc. of Smithfield for $893,413.05 to build the new town hall. The bid was lower than the expected cost of $1,030,000. The cost had skyrocketed from the original figure of $750,000, because of higher prices for materials, especially steel, since Hurricane Katrina.

Princeton will repay the loan at 3.35 percent interest over 30 years.

The next town board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 9, one week later than normal, to avoid a conflict with the holiday.