Spencer’s Park Plaza financing gets OK from state’s Local Government Commission

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2020

SPENCER — The Local Government Commission on Tuesday approved Spencer’s plans for interim financing of its Park Plaza project.

The $3.9 million project will renovate part of the plaza for town administration, police and fire departments.

The town plans to finance about $2.8 million of the project through the USDA and Truist Bank. The bank will provide a construction loan at a 1.54% interest rate and the town will later be reimbursed for the loan through the USDA, which it will then pay off on a 30-year term.

The LGC, which approves financing for all public projects of this sort in the state, approved the project as part of the consent agenda for its Tuesday afternoon meeting.

Interim Town Manager Dave Treme described the approval of the major project as anticlimactic as he watched the board move through its agenda.

The town has been working with the commission to make sure all the information needed was provided, including audits, questionnaires and discussions on the project.

The scope of the project changed after it went to bid last year and contractors returned estimates that were much higher than the town anticipated. Spencer had to strip back the details, notably removing a park from the scope.

The board has committed to going through with adding the park at some point, but that will take another $1 million.

Treme said the finalized contract should be awarded Thursday or this coming Tuesday. Vertex Construction has been tapped as the general contractor for the project and work is expected to begin in January.

“Once the contract is approved, we’re off and running,” Treme said.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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