10/07/08 — City OKs $75K to demolish buildings

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City OKs $75K to demolish buildings

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on October 7, 2008 1:46 PM

The Goldsboro City Council approved $75,000 more for the demolition of dilapidated buildings at its meeting Monday night, giving Chief Building Inspector Ed Cianfarra more money to continue with what Mayor Al King has said needs to be a priority -- cleaning up the city.

The money is needed, Cianfarra told council members, because city crews can't tear down some buildings because of size or close proximity to others. The $75,000 allocated for demolition in this year's budget has already been spent, he said.

Cianfarra added five more dilapidated dwellings to the list of buildings in need of condemnation, and the council approved all of them. They are located at 213 and 215 N. Georgia Ave., 1311 Cobb St., 702 E. Elm St. and 1013 Greenleaf St.

King said at a council meeting in September that the city needs to be more aggressive in getting rid of buildings that are beyond repair.

In other business, the council approved the preliminary design for sewer system improvements for the newly annexed areas along Buck Swamp and Salem Church roads, a project that is expected to cost $517,600.

Council members discussed the difference between a conventional sewer system and a vacuum sewer system. City engineer Marty Anderson said the vacuum system would have less maintenance, but that city employees would have to be trained to maintain such a system.

The council asked him to call officials in other cities that have the system and ask them what problems they have encountered.

The current budget does not have sufficient funds appropriated for the project, since the revised contract came back higher after it had to be renegotiated due to a lengthy legal battle over annexation. The city will pay for the project this year using sanitary sewer bonds or installment financing, but until then, a loan from the utility fund will get work started.

Council members decided to move forward with the approval of the design because of the time constraint involved with annexation law. The city must provide the sewer to those who petitioned for it, 29 residences in the annexed area, within a two-year period.

Council members also approved several items that had previously been approved by the city's Planning Commission. Among those were a rezoning request by Jenny Aycock to change property on the northwest corner of U.S. 117 North and Belfast Road from residential and watershed protection to neighborhood business and watershed protection to allow for the operation of a hunting and fishing supply store; a rezoning request made by United in Christ Church to change property on the east side of Patetown Road between New Hope Road and Tommy's Road from a single family residential zone to office and institutional conditional district; and a conditional use permit for the east side of U.S. 117 South between Sherman Street and Veterans Drive to allow for the operation of a used car lot.

The council approved a zoning ordinance amendment that would change requirements in the office-residence sign area. The existing ordinance allows one sign that isn't illuminated and is under 4 feet in height with a maximum size of 10 square feet for both freestanding and wall signs. The proposed change would allow an increase in the size of freestanding signs to 32 square feet for offices fronting Ash Street, east of Jefferson Avenue, but the area for wall signs would remain the same.

Council members approved the closing of a portion of Pineview Avenue from the southern right-of-way of Park Avenue A south to its terminus.

Other requests that received approval were site and landscape plans for the Aycock business rezoning, Ram Rent-All's site plan request for property on Graves Drive, and a property at 403 S. William St. for a duplex; a sign modification to allow a large truck scale sign at Down East Travel on the west side of U.S. 117 South; a spacing modification to allow the operation of a special populations use at Wayside Fellowship Home on East Walnut Street; and the temporary closing of Center, Walnut, Jefferson and Mulberry streets on Oct. 25 for a 5-kilometer road race; and budget amendments.