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Snow Hill inches closer to property purchase

By Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Dec. 21, 2017) Snow Hill government’s desire to purchase a property adjacent to the public works building on Cypress Lane became more formal last Tuesday, when the Town Council unanimously approved a resolution allowing for the sale.

Cost estimates, however, are still being worked out, according to Mayor Charlie Dorman, who added that he expects the final price to be less than $200,000.

“We haven’t purchased it yet – we just had to do a resolution so we could purchase it once things are final,” he said.

He said the property, a five-acre former chicken plant, would be used for future expansion of the sewer plant. Dorman said money had been set-aside in a savings account for just that purpose.

“It might not be now – it might be 20 years from now – but it’s the only property that’s next door to it and will take our sewer plant to over a million gallons, if we ever grow down here,” Dorman said. “If you wouldn’t buy it now and you tried to buy it 20 years from now, it might be twice the price or three times the price, or somebody might try to put a house on it.”

He added there was “no opposition whatsoever” from the council.

“The next step is, once we get our title insurance and all the other stuff and make sure everything’s in line, we just purchase it,” he said. “We’ve been negotiating the price of this for almost a year. Right now, it’s under $200,000.”

Dorman said a 30-day extension was a part of the negotiations, to allow for an additional survey of the property.

“We want to put it all together so that, when we buy it … the citizens of the town are not getting screwed,” he said.

Also during the meeting, the council discussed conversion of the Oscar M. Purnell House on East Market Street, currently owned by the town, to a doctor’s office.

“We’re working on an agreement with those people to finalize what they’re going to put into it, and they’re hoping to be open in June,” Dorman said. “That’ll put eight doctors there … [and] they’re looking to spend $600,000 to renovate that building.”

Dorman said what would have been the final work session of the year on Dec. 26, would not be held. The Snow Hill mayor and council are scheduled to meet again on Jan. 2.