01/20/10 — Council will make repairs to houses

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Council will make repairs to houses

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on January 20, 2010 1:46 PM

Despite a light docket, the Goldsboro City Council had plenty going on at its final meeting of the month.

The board passed its consent agenda -- which included awarding a $186,000 contract to Fremont-based Construction Managers Inc. for completion of sidewalks along Wayne Memorial Drive and Slocumb Street -- and listened as Union Station architect David Gall reported the historic train depot would be ready for a grand reopening in 2012.

"This will mean a great deal to Goldsboro," council member Michael Headen said after Gall's presentation. "It's magical."

And during its pre-meeting work session, the council made a move involving the downtown neighborhood plan, which Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Allen characterized as "vital."

Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. executive director Julie Thompson asked the board to consider funding minor repairs inside some of the historic homes currently being marketed by the DGDC and Preservation North Carolina.

Some, like the house located at 108 N. Virginia St., need to have interior carpet removed and a paint job to attract potential buyers, Mrs. Thompson said.

Others require more significant repairs, like stabilizing a front porch or removing vinyl siding.

The price-tag for those repairs -- "wish lists" for each home were compiled by DGDC and other city staff -- topped $10,000.

Allen -- and later the entire board -- said the cost was worth it.

"You can't just leave these houses the way they are," Allen said. "Especially with what we are trying to do downtown."

But the mayor pro tem was not only concerned with the houses Mrs. Thompson requested funds for -- properties currently owned by the city or PNC.

Allen was also concerned with the appearance of other homes currently being marketed by the DGDC.

So he asked Chief Building Inspector Ed Cianfarra if anything could be done to improve the appearance of those properties not owned by the city.

"We can require them to board up (broken windows)," Cianfarra said. "Then we paint the boards."

"That's better," Allen said.

Additionally, the council approved loaning PNC $16,000, the money needed to fulfill the wish lists drafted by the DGDC.

That money, they decided, should be repaid to the city once the houses sell.

But discussion and actions taken regarding the future of the city were not limited to the existing city limits.

The council also agreed to vote on a Resolution of Consideration for future annexations at their next meeting.

An affirmative vote by the board for such a resolution would not bind the city to take action on future annexation sites, but would empower them to do so if they determine annexation is something council members decide to move forward with next year.

Planning Director Randy Guthrie said the move was standard procedure and that his office has been told by the council that annexation is not currently a priority.

"We need to keep our options open," Mayor Al King said.