New town hall in Kilmarnock comes in under bid

As council members quickly adjusted to their new microphones, town council on Monday discussed the total costs for the new Kilmarnock Town Hall that opened in July.

Councilman Howard Straughan, who is Chairman of the Administration/Finance Committee, said that total expenditures for the property on 1 North Main Street, including the building’s purchase price, amounted to $810,000.

Straughan said the cost was “considerably less than we had thought might be possible.”

Council member Rebecca Nunn said she was “extremely pleased” to hear the figure of $810,000.

“Once we sell the property at 514 North Main St., it means we’ll be in this building, which the replacement value on it is $2 million…for between $350,000 and $400,000,” said Nunn.

Straughan confirmed to Mayor Raymond Booth that he could get a copy of the final report on the town hall expenses from Town Manager Tom Saunders.

“Just want to make sure everything is in there,” Booth said with a laugh. “I’m sure it is. I just want to make sure that we’re looking at all expenses.”

“And I think we are,” Straughan replied.

“Very good,” Booth said.

In related news, Straughan recognized Planning and Zoning Director Marshall Sebra for his role in establishing the new town hall and building several of its furnishings and fixtures.

“I think the town owes Marshall Sebra a real vote of appreciation for what he’s done,” said Straughan, who recommended that a plaque of appreciation be commissioned to honor Sebra for his work.

“Everybody will benefit from it for a long time,” said Straughan.

Booth agreed.

“This is all very beautiful work,” Booth said of the meeting room space. “It does look very nice.”

In other town business, council unanimously approved the rezoning of property along James B. Jones Memorial Highway north of Irvington Road from residential (R-1) to limited commercial (C-2).

The rezoning request came from Robert and Constance Booth and Booth’s Furniture for the purpose of developing property to store furniture for their business.

The property was originally at the corner of a large residential district, yet was also bordered by agricultural  (A-1) and general commercial (C-1) zoning with a C-2 zoning district nearby. The rezoned parcel consists of 0.86 acres of land.

Sebra said one neighboring property owner voiced concerns at the planning commission level about the property’s future development.

“They were concerns of mainly things that happen later on down the road [such as] storm water management, security,” said Sebra. “I think the concerns were addressed at the time that our zoning regulations and land development processes take care of the majority of what [the citizen] was talking about.”

Additionally, Council member Shawn Donahue said the Town Christmas Tree will be moved to the new town hall and that illumination ceremonies will be held at 1 North Main St.

Posted on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 8:00 am