Old City Hall to get facelift

Published 12:41 am Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The new owners of old City Hall closed on the property late last week.

Laura Darre and Kathryn Pisciotta, doing business as Snug Harbor Team, bought the building at 126 N. Market St. from the city for $25,000. They plan to convert the building into a “destination restaurant,” according to city officials.

To help the owners renovate the building, the city will serve as a conduit for $150,000 in grant funding from the N.C. Main Streets Solution Fund. Snug Harbor Team is providing $300,000 for renovations, according to a city document.

At its Dec. 12 meeting, the City Council adopted a resolution in support of seeking grant funding for the project. The Main Street Solutions Fund provides up to $200,000 to local governments for such projects.

The Main Street Solutions Fund goals are to provide direct financial benefit to small businesses, retain and create jobs associated with small businesses and spur private investment associated with small businesses.

“They’re (Snug Harbor) going to be providing all the match that will be required. So, there are no dollars that will come out of the city’s general fund or any other fund the city has,” City Manager Josh Kay told the council at its Dec. 12 meeting.

“It would be a flow-through. We would set up a fund. That fund would then be spent once the invoices are sent to the city. Again, Snug Harbor would provide all the matches.”

Other than submitting a floor plan for their new property, the new owners haven’t provided any details concerning its renovation, said John Rodman, director of planning and development for the city, in a brief interview Monday. Rodman said the owners were scheduled to meet with a city building inspector Monday afternoon.

The sale of old City Hall required the approval of the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners, which was given Dec. 12 during the board’s meeting.

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. One of those provisions was that if an offer to buy the building was less than $60,000, the county must give its permission before it could be sold for less than $60,000.

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.

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