12/04/06 — County will eye plans for projects

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County will eye plans for projects

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on December 4, 2006 1:45 PM

A new animal shelter, new office space and the U.S. 70 corridor will be among the projects on the agenda Tuesday during the Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting.

The board plans to discuss renovations to the Jeffreys Building to hold more county offices, allow contractors to continue design and architectural work for a new animal shelter and to join other counties and municipalities in signing a memorandum of understanding for the proposed U.S. 70 corridor.

The Jeffreys Building, which is located at 134 N. John St., currently houses the county's emergency services department, which includes emergency medical services and the 911 center.

The commissioners will consider allowing Peterson, Eure and Associates of New Bern to provide architectural services for construction and renovations to the first and third floors of the building, Wayne County Manager Lee Smith said.

"After we took the building, we gutted the entire building and took care of asbestos abatement," Smith said. "We renovated the second floor and now we're looking at the other floors."

If both floors are renovated, the building would house the county's veterans services, planning, inspections and environmental health departments. The county also will consider moving the county manager and finance offices, but there would not be enough space in the Jeffreys Building for all the departments, Smith said.

The design and architectural costs for the Jeffreys Building were placed in this year's budget as a line item. If the initial costs are less than the $250,000 budgeted, the remaining money will be used for renovations, he added.

The county budgeted $100,000 in the capital improvement plan nearly three years ago for a new animal shelter and its site design, Smith said. Since the commissioners did not use the money, those funds have carried over into the next budget each year. The commissioners want to spend the money this year, hoping construction on a new animal shelter can begin in January, Smith said.

Although the county has not finalized a location, contractor Walter Vick of Fayetteville-based LSV Partnership Architects and Planners should complete building plans within the next week. The plans could take longer, depending on when surveyors can finish testing the land at the possible site, Smith said.

The board will consider whether to allow Vick and LSV Partnership Architects to continue designing plans and overseeing construction when work on the shelter begins next month, Smith said.

Although the commissioners are unsure when construction will begin on the proposed U.S. 70 corridor, which would create a limited-access, 134-mile, 70-mph highway from Clayton to Morehead City, Wayne County is expected to join other counties and municipalities along the corridor in signing a memorandum of understanding, Smith said.

The purpose of the agreement is to unify the governments along the corridor, which has already been mapped out by the corridor commission and the North Carolina Department of Transportation, and to implement policies to protect the future U.S. 70, such as zoning ordinances, subdivision ordinances and land use plans.

Other governments involved in the corridor include Goldsboro, Lenoir County, Kinston, Jones County, Craven County, New Bern, Havelock, Carteret County, Morehead City and NCDOT.

County commissioner meetings are held at 9 a.m. on the fourth floor of the county courthouse. The meetings are preceded by an 8 a.m. briefing session.