As part of a busy monthly meeting last Tuesday night, the Anson County Board of Commissioners heard from a group called Preservation North Carolina about possible plans to save the two old 1900s-era brick buildings on the site of Anson Community Hospital.
Several efforts have been made to save the buildings, but in April, after a bidding process, the commissioners had no choice but to approve the demolition of the two old buildings after no suitable bids were received.
Ted Alexander, who’s part of the Preservation North Carolina group, told the commissioners at the June meeting that the organization has converted and rehabilitated similar buildings throughout North Carolina. “I think we would be able to help you rehabilitate those buildings and put them back on the tax rolls,” he said.
However, Alexander added that the process would take some time.
In Gastonia, the group recently helped Gaston County government rehab a hospital that had been vacant for about 20 years. That hospital building was converted into senior housing in one building and market-rate apartment in another.
“I can see a situation where it would be a win-win situation for both of us,” he said. “I think these buildings have merit.”
Commission Chair Anna Baucom, who has been very vocal about her desire to save the buildings, told Alexander that she still gets at least two to three people a week who tell her they were unaware that the buildings are scheduled for demolition.
“We have voted on this and have voted to tear them down,” she said, later adding that she was glad Alexander and the Preservation North Carolina group could see the buildings’ potential. “I don’t feel so alone now,” she said.
In other business, the commissioners:
- heard a presentation from County Manager Lawrence Gatewood on the proposed budget.
- denied a conditional use permit for a solar farm to be located on Carver Street in Wadesboro.
- approved a request from Circle G Arena in Lilesville for fireworks July 11 and 12.
- heard from citizens Steve DeBerry and Brenda Broadway about their concerns with a conditional use permit in Morven and a sewer bill issue, respectively. County Attorney Scott Forbes agreed to contact both citizens and help them work out their issues.
- voted unanimously to extend the county’s contract with Anson Rescue Squad for one more year.
- approved the sale of property at 107 Ashe St. to SanStone. The purchase goes along with the sale of Lillie Bennett Nursing Center, and SanStone plans to make a capital investment of $200,000 to convert the property into a kitchen and laundry facility.
- reappointed Commissioner Jarvis Woodburn to the South Piedmont Community College board of trustees.
- appointed Pat Adams of Ansonville to the Centralina Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council.
- heard from Zana Lambert and T.C. Murdock, who are both paramedics with Anson EMS, but plan to be married. Lambert’s daughter also works as a paramedic with Anson EMS, but Lambert had resigned so that she and her daughter would not be working together. Lambert asked the commissioners to reconsider its policy regarding family members working together.
- unanimously voted to begin passing resolutions honoring county residents who reach milestone birthdays. - asked County Manager Gatewood to look into what the county can do regarding the enforcement of the 45-mph speed limit on Capel Dairy Road.
- discussed possibly closing off the uptown area in front of the courthouse for next year’s Memorial Day service, due to heavy traffic during this year’s cemetery that made it difficult to hear the speakers.
The Anson County Board of Commissioners will next meet at 6 p.m. on June 19 at the Anson County Government Center for a public hearing on the proposed budget.