Family of D.C. and Frances Linn donates land for Landis park
By Shavonne Potts
LANDIS ó The family of the late D.C. and Frances Linn has donated property to the town to be used for a passive historical park.
The announcement was made Monday at a special board meeting, where Town Administrator Reed Linn said the couple, especially D.C., had been working on the project.
The property, which is about 2 acres, is located at North Central Avenue near the Landis Police Department.
The property is entrusted to the Foundation for the Carolinas, Reed Linn said.
Linn spoke with family members who are tying up loose ends.
The idea was to possibly move the Depot, town gazebo, old Post Office building and jail onto the property.
Ellen Messinger, the Linns daughter, attended the meeting with her husband, Tim, and relative Tom Hoke.
“We know how much they loved Landis. This was the last thing he wanted,” Tim said of D.C. Linn.
Messinger said D.C. Linn would travel to other towns with historical parks throughout the United States. He always thought Landis should have one.
The family has also placed the building that once held the Linns’ hardware store up for sale.
The building once housed the first Chevrolet dealership on the East Coast and was also a theater at one time, Reed Linn said.
The family thought if the town had the opportunity to purchase the building, it could be turned back into a theater for community use.
Reed Linn said it could be used for arts and craft shows, to display works of local artists and as a place for performances and plays. The site could also be used to show nightly and weekend matinee family type movies.
“The opportunities are endless,” he said.
Linn said a member of the Linn family is willing to help restore the building to a theater.
“The planning board for years have been thinking of how to get people to come to downtown,” Linn said.
The town made an offer of $95,000, and the family accepted it. The family turned down a much higher offer from a prospective buyer.
“They feel that strongly about it,” Reed Linn said.
The money will be paid over the course of a year at no interest.
“The only negative thing is we don’t have D.C. and Frances here to thank,” Alderman James Furr said.
The couple died in an automobile accident in January.
Alderman Tony Hilton said since the town is purchasing a building, the board should look into buildings and property that the town would not use in the near future and sell those. The money from that sale could help pay for the Linn building.
During the public hearing for the 2009-2010 budget, the only person who spoke in any opposition was resident Nadine Cherry.
If the town could buy a building, Cherry asked, then why couldn’t it afford to put microphones in the council meeting room? Cherry has long asked the board to place microphones at tables where town staff sit. Cherry has complained that she can’t hear the staff when they address the board during meetings. Mayor Dennis Brown has said in a previous meeting that the budget wouldn’t allow it.
Without much conversation after that, the board unanimously approved the budget.
Furr said the staff worked hard to balance the budget, maintain services, not increase taxes and not lay off any employees.