Back in the lineup

Published 12:19 am Thursday, December 1, 2011

Washington’s old City Hall should soon have new owners.

During its meeting earlier this week, the City Council approved selling the building to Laura Darre and Kathryn Pisciotta, doing business as Snug Harbor Team, for $25,000.

The real-estate transaction is important for several reasons. First, the change in ownership means the building will generate property taxes for the city and county. Depending upon how it’s used, other taxes could be generated for the city and county. Second, an occupied building — whether it houses a shop, restaurant or professional office — helps add to the local economy by creating some new jobs and purchasing goods and services from other local businesses. Third, the new owners no doubt will renovate and repair the historic building, thereby helping to preserve it.

No doubt there are some folks who would have preferred the building to be home to a museum of some sort. Other folks may have preferred the building to have a residential use. Some folks even suggested mixed uses for the building.

The sale may have a hurdle to jump before becoming final.

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. Under those provisions, 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.

That permission, if not already given, should be forthcoming from the county.

It’s time to put old City Hall back to use.