DCA sanctions Belhaven for ‘approximately two years’

Published 3:50 am Wednesday, June 11, 2008

By Staff
Settlement comes down on Wynne View dilemma
Staff Writer
BELHAVEN — The Town of Belhaven has been sanctioned by the Division of Community Assistance with the North Carolina Department of Commerce as part of a settlement over Wynne View.
Mayor Adam O’Neal informed the public at the Belhaven Town Council’s regular meeting on Monday night that the town will be absolved from paying $360,000 in loans to the DCA in “approximately two years” if no further procedural wrong-doing is committed by the town.
During the sanction period, the town will not receive any funding up-front from the DCA for local projects, according to Leverett.
The town must fund any projects in accordance with the DCA, and send invoices to the department for reimbursement.
The $360,000 stems from an urgent needs loan filed with the DCA by the town under former mayor Dr. Charles Boyette. The loan was needed to repair the foundation of Wynne View after the building began to give and faced being condemned. It was used to reconstruct the foundation of the building, which began as a $1 million investment.
Wynne View Inc. filed a faulty-construction grievance against the building’s project engineer and architect to help pay back the loan.
The corporation, owned by non-profits Northeastern Beaufort County Economic Developers and Community Developers of Beaufort-Hyde, was awarded $125,000 in the settlement, or about one-fourth of the loan.
Boyette blamed the settlement partly on the corporation’s case representative.
The town sent a check to the DCA for $125,000, but the remaining $360,000 is yet to be paid.
Boyette said that the DCA did not make clear whether funding for the foundation replacement was in the form of a loan or grant.
The town council rushed to reach a settlement with the DCA, Boyette said.
After reviewing the case, Leverett was assured by the council’s decision.
Boyette and the Wynne View Board previously weighed other options to paying off the remainder of the loan.
Citing Wynne View’s economic viability as a public building, the DCA disagreed with the proposed solution.
Boyette is concerned over the town’s settlement and the sanctions implemented.
Although Leverett believes the sanctions will be lifted in less than two years, Boyette feels it might be much longer.