Union City Council voted unanimously Thursday to award the bid for removing asbestos from the building to Asbestos & Demolition Inc. of Columbia for $24,000, which submitted the lowest of four bids for the job. The city will pay the tipping fee, which will add another $5,000 to the cost.
Most of the asbestos is in the boiler room, which is located in the basement.
Next, council voted unanimously to proceed with plans to demolish the structure at a cost of $110,000, including disposal, cleaning the lot and filling in the hole where the boiler room is located.
The city purchased the building in 2007 for $254,946.10 with the intent of renovating it for a courtroom and offices. However, a complete renovation would have cost more than $1 million. The building is not on the National Historic Register, meaning there is little chance of getting any grant money to help finance the project.
Councilman Keith Henderson said that renovating the building would be throwing “good money after bad.”
“I don’t see sinking any more money in it,” he said.
Tax increment bond
Council also voted unanimously to approve second reading of an ordinance to authorize the issuance of a $1.1 million tax increment bond to help pay for a new community arts center.
The revenue raised through the bond will be used to pay for half of the projected $2 million cost of building the center on the site of the old Teritex building at the corner of North Pinckney Street and Sharpe Avenue. The balance would be paid for with the $940,000 left over from the insurance settlement the city received for the fire that destroyed the old Union High School on Main Street.
The center would be 10,000-12,000 square feet in size and include a 4,500 square-foot theater area that would be used by Boogaloo Folklife Productions. The facility could be used for other plays, concerts, recitals, festivals, business training sessions and multi-media presentations. The theater will also have a screen that could be used for showing movies.
Bonnie Ammons with the S.C. Department of Commerce, presented council with an oversize check for $500,000, symbolic of the Community Development Block Grant the city received to complete work on the Buffalo water and sewer project.
Henderson asked that the city research when the $10 surcharge Buffalo residents have been paying for water and sewer service will end so “we can do what we said we’d do.”