Old City Hall open to bidders

Published 12:41 am Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Two women have offered to buy old City Hall for $25,000.

The offer by Laura Darre and Kathryn Pisciotta, doing business as Snug Harbor Team, was presented to the Washington City Council during its meeting Monday night.

Upon receiving the offer, the council adopted a resolution authorizing the advertisement of the offer. The advertisement is part of the upset-bid process the city is using to sell the property at 126 N. Market St.

Under that process, once a bid from a prospective buyer is accepted and advertised, another prospective buyer has 10 days to offer a higher bid for the property. If a higher bid is not received in that 10-day period, the property will be sold to the entity making the initial bid. If a higher bid is received from another bidder, a new 10-day clock begins. The entity making the highest bid that is not upset within 10 days gets the property.

Trent Tetterton, working with the Washington Harbor District Alliance, announced the offer. At its June 13 meeting, the council authorized WHDA to solicit offers to purchase old City Hall. Tetterton is overseeing the effort.

“I will say, Trent, for the record – I have told you this privately – we really appreciate you and the (Washington) Harbor District Alliance taking a role in this. I feel like we’ve realized an outstanding outcome. We appreciate that,” Mayor Archie Jennings said to Tetterton.

There are some provisions regarding the sale.

In June during a council meeting, Tetterton and City Attorney Franz Holscher discussed those conditions.

When the city took sole possession of old City Hall from Beaufort County several years ago, there were some provisions in that takeover agreement concerning any future sale of the building. Tetterton said it’s his understanding that if the building sells for more than $60,000, that anything in excess of $60,000 would be equally divided between the city and county.

Holscher said if an offer to buy the building is less than $60,000, the county must give its permission before it can be sold for less than $60,000. He also said if the building sells for more than $60,000, the city gets credit for “any expenses that we have spent on old City Hall that were not funded by grant dollars.”

For additional coverage of the council’s meeting, see future editions of the Washington Daily News.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

email author More by Mike