Hamlet delays action on A&P building

By Amanda Moss

February 18, 2014

Amanda Moss

HAMLET — Hamlet City Council decided on Tuesday to delay further action on the renovations of the former A&P Building.

The city purchased the former grocery store building, located across from City Hall, for $50,000. City Council members approved the purchase last August in between regularly scheduled public meetings. The building is intended to be the new police department headquarters due to the lack of space in the present facility.

The city of Hamlet, under former Mayor Jeff Smart and the council, approved on Dec. 17 a contract with Summey Engineering Associates for engineering and design services. The price of these services are $28,500 for engineering and design services and up to $7,800 for construction specification and bid services.

The floor plans for the space were discussed briefly during the council’s work session held on Jan. 30.

Councilman Johnathan Buie said that the council hasn’t gotten the opportunity to discuss, budget-wise, where the city is at. Councilman Jesse McQueen agreed with Buie, adding the council should look at other areas that the city may need money put into.

City Manager Marchell David said that the city is not at the stage to be able to solicit bids on the building. The only thing that the city has agreed to is with Summey for the engineering study. That study needs to be completed before the city can solicit bids for the renovation.

Councilman Eddie Martin agreed with McQueen and Buie. Martin said he believed the acquisition of the building was a great move on the city’s part, but he was unsure as to how much it would really cost to renovate the entire building.

“There may be other things in the city that may need to be provided for,” Martin said.

Martin also said raised the idea of using the A&P building as a new Hamlet City Hall and making the current city hall the headquarters of Hamlet Police Department.

The council also started the process to demolish two homes in the city of Hamlet. One located at 208 West Ave. and the other located on Monroe Avenue. The city is currently unsure of the cost to demolish the two properties. Both will need to undergo inspections before the demolition takes place.

The city has budgeted $20,000 annually to deal with structures that are not up to the the city’s codes. With that funding, the city determines which properties to demolish and is able to remove two to three properties per year.

The council went into closed session at 7:49 p.m. to discuss a personnel issue and went back into open session at 8:32 p.m. After closed session the council moved to extend Brent Garner’s interim position as the city’s attorney to April 8.