MOUNT OLIVE — The town board Monday night finalized the sale of the former National Guard Armory property to the Mt. Olive Pickle Co. for $550,000.
The action comes one month after the board declared the property on Witherington Street as surplus and accepted a $550,000 offer on it from the Mt. Olive Pickle Co.
The sale was advertised for 10 days for upset bids, but none were received, Mayor Joe Scott said.
The $550,000 will be placed into a restricted capital fund to help finance a new fire station.
The armory sits on slightly more than 5.5 acres on Witherington Street, just off of North Breazeale Avenue. The land, appraised at $425,000, adjoins the Mt. Olive Pickle Co. plant property.
Mt. Olive Pickle Co. spokesman Lynn Williams said last month that the company first approached the town about the property last spring shortly after the town had assumed ownership.
Town Manager Charles Brown said following the Monday night meeting that he does not know what the company’s plans are for the property. Williams has said there are no immediate plans other than storage of materials.
The North Carolina Army National Guard deactivated the 1132nd Military Police Co., at its headquarters in Rocky Mount, on Aug. 6, 2017. The 1132nd maintained armories in Mount Olive, Tarboro and Rocky Mount, all of which were closed.
The armory, which dates back to 1961, closed in 2017 as part of a nationwide U.S. Army and National Guard force reduction/reorganization plan.
The keys to the building were given to the town during a brief ceremony this past April.
At that time, there had been speculation that the town might consider the site for a new fire station since the department has outgrown the current station that was built in the 1960s.
That is no longer the case and the town has hired the firm of Stewart Cooper Newell of Gastonia to conduct a location study for a new fire station.
A meeting with the company, which does a lot of work on fire and EMS projects, is planned later in the month.
“They are recognized as one of the finest in the country,” Brown said. “That does not necessarily mean we would hire them to design and build the facility. We just felt like in fairness to the residents of Mount Olive that an unbiased outside expert should come in and give us their best recommendation where it should be.”