06/04/13 — Council will wait on decision on property

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Council will wait on decision on property

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on June 4, 2013 1:46 PM

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The former Arts Council of Wayne County building at the corner of Ash Street and Spence Avenue is up for sale by the city. The City Council on Monday night tabled an offer by The Little Bank to buy the property. The city is having the building demolished.

The Goldsboro City Council has tabled a decision on whether to accept The Little Bank's offer of $500,000 on the former Arts Council property at the corner of Ash Street and Spence Avenue.

The action was taken at the City Council's meeting Monday night.

"I'd like to see the building torn down, then see what we have," Councilman Gene Aycock said. "I think the property is worth more."

The city is having the building, originally built as a bank, demolished. Demolition is expected to cost almost $200,000.

Councilman Chuck Allen said the site would have a different look with the property clear and higher offers might come in.

"We're not being good stewards of the taxpayers' money if we don't sell it above the appraised value," Councilman Bill Broadaway added.

The city bought the property in July 2011 for $500,000 with the intention of turning it into an Air Force museum.

But studies by private contractors found that the cost of building a museum was much higher than the city was expecting and the project was scrapped.

An appraisal estimated the value of the property without the building on it at about $518,000.

The city Finance Department had recommended that the council agree to sell to The Little Bank.

In other business, the council adopted an ordinance implementing the fiscal year 2013-14 budget for the city.

The overall budget is $52,411,434.

The tax rate of 65 cents per $100 worth of property is unchanged from last year.

Approval also was given for an addition to the structure at the corner of Elm and Slocumb streets next to the Islamic Center of Goldsboro to be used as a retail space, which will include added parking.

A budget amendment was approved for the Berkeley Boulevard Widening Project to correct a mistake in an earlier budget report fixing the figures for the project.

The council voted on an amendment to the budget for 2013-14 to add in the changes to the new water reconnection fee recommended by the Finance Department to cover the cost of reconnecting a customer's water after they pay off their overdue bills --City Council voted to drop the proposed fee from $25 to $10 at the May 13 work session.

Councilman Charles Williams noted that adding the fee could cause extra hardship on households already struggling, but voted for the amendment.

A host of zoning requests were granted, including a request to allow Woodhaven Enterprises LLC to convert a property on the north side of East Ash Street between Audubon and Andrews avenues in a residential zoning area to allow an office-residential property as long as the property maintains the look of a residential structure.

The council set a public hearing to discuss the annexation request of the J&J Farming Enterprise property for June 17 at the next City Council meeting.

The council also voted to enter into a one-year banking agreement with PNC Bank while city Finance Director Kaye Scott searches for another alternative to try and enter into a better deal next year.

Council members chose Allen as the council's representative to the Highway 70 Corridor Commission.