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East Spencer recesses meeting until next week to continue redevelopment talks

EAST SPENCER — The Board of Aldermen will continue its Monday meeting next week to further discuss the 1909 East Project after a few aldermen said they didn’t feel comfortable voting in favor of a resolution of support for the redevelopment of the former school administration building.

In 2017, the town purchased the building, located at 110 S. Long St.. It has partnered with Landmark Asset Services Inc., a Winston-Salem real estate developer, to turn the property into senior housing. The town would enter into a purchase agreement with Landmark.

The company is in the process of completing an application for low-income housing tax credits. The application is due Jan. 19.

The town board gave the developer two years to get the OK to get the project approved for low-income tax credits.

Aldermen Tony Hillian and Dwayne Holmes both said they need more information before voting to move forward in support of the project. The board agreed to meet at 5 p.m. Jan. 16. Town Attorney Jeff Morris said he’d look over the resolution before next week.

The proposed resolution also includes two phases for environmental inspections and plans for the removal of underground storage tanks in order to inspect the ground beneath them. If approved, the redevelopment project will be in the 2018 competitive tax credit round of the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency.

In the meantime, the building is still available for those in the community to use for events and activities.

The board also discussed bids for the Royal Giants Park rehabilitation project, which came in higher than the aldermen had anticipated. The project initially had six possible bids at the November pre-bid meeting, but only two came through with bid packages. The project was re-bid in December with three bidders. Those bids were 15 percent higher than the architect’s estimates, said interim Town Administrator F.E. Isenhour.

The architect’s estimates were $240,000 over budget for the project. The low bidders were $390,000 over the amount included in the grant.

In 2016, the town received a $300,000 N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant and met with representatives this week who said that in order to remain in line with the grant requirements, the town has to keep the recreational elements of the park plans.

Isenhour said essentially when the town included a corn hole area, splash pad and walking trails in the plans, those were not negotiable and have to remain. But the town could do less landscaping and pave part of the parking lot as well as other items that can be tweaked and still remain in compliance with the grant requirements.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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