Town to buy prop­erty for fu­ture park­ing needs

Record Observer - - Front Page - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

CEN­TRE­VILLE — The Town Coun­cil of Cen­tre­ville in­tro­duced an or­di­nance at its Thurs­day, Aug. 4, meet­ing that if ap­proved would al­low the town man­ager to “con­sum­mate” the pur­chase of a Cen­tre­ville build­ing to be used for fu­ture park­ing as­so­ci­ated with the new Cir­cuit Court­house in town.

On June 21, the town en­tered into an agree­ment of sale with Mag­no­lia Trust, own­ers of 105 N. Lib­erty St., to pur­chase the prop­erty for $880,000 to even­tu­ally be used for fur­ther park­ing for pa­trons of the Cir­cuit Court­house be­ing built in town at 200 N. Com­merce St. The build­ing is cur­rently oc­cu­pied by Joseph W. McCartin In­sur­ance, Inc., RJ Koenke Art and Ap­praisals and Ash­ley Land Com­pany Real Es­tate. Coun­cil Vice Pres­i­dent Ge­orge “Smokey” Sigler said the busi­nesses would re­main op­er­a­tional un­til the court­house is com­pleted.

Steve Walls, Cen­tre­ville town man­ager, said de­pend­ing on the amount of park­ing nec­es­sary, none of the build­ing may be de­mol­ished to make room for fur­ther park­ing spa­ces. “[If] they want to stay there and the terms are agree­able, we’ll work with them un­til such time that maybe part of the build­ing or all the build­ing would come down,” Walls said.

Cur­rently, the lot has paved but un­marked spa­ces. Walls said the town has the ca­pa­bil­ity to ex­pand the park­ing with­out dis­turb­ing the build­ing be­cause open land is avail­able to ex­pand into. If more park­ing is re­quired, some or all of the build­ing may be con­verted to park­ing.

“The ini­tial in­tent is use some of the park­ing that is al­ready there as well as maybe putting more spa­ces in with­out af­fect­ing the build­ing. [That] would be our first op­tion,” he said.

On Sept. 16, 2015, when the Cen­tre­ville Plan­ning Com­mis­sion granted site plan ap­proval for the Cir­cuit Court­house it stip­u­lated the town and Queen Anne’s County must en­ter into a Pub­lic Works Agree­ment to ad­dress park­ing for the project. The town and county en­tered into an agree­ment which stated in Sec­tion 5 the terms for park­ing ar­range­ments.

The county agreed to pay the town an an­nual pay­ment of $48,600 for a term of 20 years with a 2.4 per­cent com­pounded in­ter­est fee as­so­ci­ated. The agree­ment states that the county can pay the re­main­ing 20-year sum at one time. Gregg Todd, county ad­min­is­tra­tor, said the county isn’t in­tend­ing to make the to­tal pay­ment at one time but “wanted to make sure that this com­mis­sion and fu­ture com­mis­sions had the op­tion that [if] they had some fund bal­ance at the end of a year they could go ahead and take the op­tion to pay that out in­stead of pay­ing it yearly.”

If the county paid the 20year sum in full and later down the road more park­ing is re­quested, the county is not re­spon­si­ble for pay­ing the town for the ad­di­tional spa­ces. Based on the amount of money from the an­nual pay­ments, the town will re­ceive more than $880,000, the agreed prop­erty pur­chase price.

The court­house site de­sign shows six park­ing spa­ces as well as pub­lic park­ing in the Cen­tral Busi­ness District that can be used. The county reached out to the State and re­ceived per­mis­sion to use the sec­ond story of the District Court park­ing lot ad­ja­cent to the District Court­house for ad­di­tional park­ing. Park­ing is also avail­able at the Depart­ment of Health, next to where the Cir­cuit Court­house will be built, as 115 spa­ces are cur­rently marked. The county agreed to al­low for open spa­ces in that lot to be used for court­house pa­trons.

In the pub­lic works agree­ment it states the county is re­spon­si­ble for the in­stal­la­tion of eight di­rec­tional signs to pub­lic park­ing in town as well as pro­vide ju­rors a map show­ing all the avail­able park­ing spa­ces.

To view the or­di­nance in its en­tirety, visit the town’s web­site: www.townof­cen­tre­ville.org.

Fol­low Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @mike_k­ibay­times.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

The Town of Cen­tre­ville in­tro­duced Or­di­nance 09-2016 dur­ing its Thurs­day, Aug. 4, meet­ing that if ap­proved would al­low the town man­ager to fi­nal­ize a prop­erty sales agree­ment that would make the town the own­ers of 105 N. Lib­erty St.

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