Clover to purchase town hall building

news@enquirerherald.comFebruary 15, 2013 

— Town officials plan to spend $171,000 to buy the former bank building next to Clover Town Hall to expand crowded city offices and offer a drive-thru for utility customers.

Town Manager Allison Harvey said the town finalized a purchase agreement for the 116 Bethel St. property with the owner in early January.

The agreement calls for the town to buy the 2,257-square-foot, one-story brick building on 0.73 acres for its appraised value, she said. The owner is First States Investors 3035.

Mayor Donnie Grice said he was “tickled pink” over the deal.

“It’s a double opportunity for us,” Grice said. “It’s an opportunity for us to take a building that’s been in disrepair for many years and turn it into something that’s not an eyesore.

“We’re going to take advantage of the space. We’re busting at the seams with our current City Hall. We’re going to be able to kill two birds with one stone.”

More Town Hall office space was identified as a need as early as 2007, Harvey said.

The bank building, formerly occupied by Wachovia, has been vacant for about 10 years, she said.

“We need a new Town Hall,” Harvey said. “Our existing building is too small for our staff needs, especially with regard to storage. We have no place to store our records, and I’m not even talking about old records.

“We have no place to store our supplies. And it’s definitely not a showplace for economic development meetings, and that kind of thing.”

Harvey said the former bank building will need some renovations – including replacing the white columns on the front, replacing windows and some cosmetic improvements to the interior.

The town has planned for those costs, she said, including $250,000 for the building purchase in its $800,000 bond issue for New Centre Park. It also budgeted up to $175,000 for renovations this year.

The former bank building offers plenty of office space and lots of storage in the attic, Harvey said. The drive-thru can be used for utility bill payments, and the bank vault can store permanent records.

Harvey expects the existing Town Hall office on Bethel Street, with six employees, to move into the new Town Hall building later this year, after renovations are complete.

The old Town Hall then would serve as office space for building and code enforcement officials, now housed in the Clover Police Department building, and the municipal court office, next to the police station.

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