Council to mull extension for idX

Published 8:18 pm Saturday, February 22, 2014

Washington’s City Council, during its meeting Monday, will consider amending the purchase agreement pertaining to the former Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex property between the city and idX Impressions LLC .

The city and idX entered into a purchase agreement Nov. 25, 2013, concerning the land and improvements (buildings) at the site at 234 Springs Road. As part of that agreement, idX was given an inspection period to perform physical, mechanical and environmental inspections of the property and all records and financial information concerning the property. The deadline for the inspections is Monday.

Now, idX is asking for the inspection period to be extended to March 24 to complete some environmental inspections and have an American Land Title Association survey prepared. An ALTA survey is more detailed survey that is performed in accordance with ALTA standards. The costs associated with this survey are being paid for by idX.

According to a memorandum written by Matt Rauschenbach, the city’s chief financial officer and assistant city manager, last fall before the purchase agreement was approved, idX planned to invest $2 million in tooling and equipment upgrades at the existing facility and add 150 jobs during a three-year period.

As part of its plans, idX applied for $3,020,000 in grants for the expansion and jobs creation.

Recently, the building and land were appraised at $3.65 million. An appraisal conducted for idX put the value of the property at $2.7 million. The idX inspector estimated the building needs about $2.1 million in basic repairs. That inspector determined roof replacement would be needed within a few years, along with removing asbestos and mold from offices, city officials said.

“There was a little bit of difference in our appraisal and what idX’s appraisal was,” said City Manager Brian Alligood during an August 2013 council meeting.

The difference between proposed sales price and the $3.65 million appraisal could be used as the $300,000 the city would be required to allocate under terms of the grant, if it is awarded, Alligood noted then.

The land has some environmental issues. In 2008, the city submitted an application to a state agency so it could participate in that agency’s brownfields program.
The city wanted to participate in the program, administered by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, so it could proceed with its plans to sell the Hamilton Beach/Impressions property to the Beaufort County Committee of 100. The Committee of 100, as a prospective developer, had submitted an application to participate in the brownfields program, according to a memorandum from then-City Manager James C. Smith to then-Mayor Judy Meier Jennette and the City Council.
In August 2007, the city offered to sell the most of the former Hamilton Beach-Proctor Silex property to the Committee of 100 for $1 million. The property housed Impressions Marketing Group, which manufactures display cases for the retail trade. Since then, idX acquired Impressions.

The city’s plan to sell the property to the Committee of 100 never came to fruition,

Approximately 16 years ago, environmental contamination was discovered on the property.

The brownfields program helps facilitate redevelopment of contaminated land by alleviating liability for prospective developers, thereby simplifying the process of obtaining loans for redevelopment projects, according to a memorandum.


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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