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Utility explores building options
The Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission could be having buyer's remorse about property it purchased two years ago for the construction of a headquarters.

The utility board voted 3-1 during its meeting Thursday to get a cost for appraising and remodeling the second floor of an historic building on Newcastle Street and delaying an architectural design for a new building on property it owns.

Voting for an appraisal of the second floor of the old Royal Hotel, at 1612 through 1618 Newcastle St., were Glynn County Commissioners Bob Coleman and Clyde Taylor and City Commissioner Cornell Harvey. Voting against it was Tony Sammons. City Commissioner James Brooks, the fifth member of the utility board, did not attend the meeting.

The move comes following months of discussion and the eventual rejection of another downtown property - the site of the now abandoned Coastal Bank building on the corner of Newcastle and Gloucester streets.

"I think we need to be able to say we've done our due diligence, and we owe it to the rate-payers," Harvey said.

The utility board needs to keep its customers in mind and when it can save money, it should do so, Coleman said.

Keith Morgan, director of the utility, could not estimate how much appraisal and architectural services would cost the board.

"It's going to cost us money no matter what we do," Coleman said.

Sammons believes the utility board should make good on its initial purchase.

The utility paid a total of $850,000 to acquire the property, raze the old Days Inn and cleanse the property of environmental hazards, including asbestos found in the old motel.

"We can beat this thing to death, and every building downtown will come to us," Sammons said. "I'd like a vote of confidence to move on with this. Every moment we waste is more money it costs us."

But Coleman, Taylor and Harvey would like to look at one more existing structure before building one of their own.

"In the next couple of meetings, we need to say yes or no, one way or the other, and we need to have a full board," Harvey said.

Utility board members were invited to tour the site before Thursday's meeting.

Brady Turner, owner of the property, presented an updated initial offer to the board, but Taylor stressed that there would be no discussion until more information is provided.

Board applicants

Thirty-two residents are applying for three appointments that will be made by the Glynn County Grand Jury in the coming months to the new seven-member Joint Water and Sewer Board that will be seated in January. They are:

Clifford E. Adams; Paul Baker; Richard A. Bassett; James S. Brewster; Tom Crankshaw; J. Darrell Crosby; Roy Charles Crumbliss; John Dieterman; H. Dean Dodgen; George M. Dupuy; Donald M. Elliot; Cheryl Fisher; Paul Fisher; David H. Ford; Richard P. Heath; Daniel L. Hickey; Ulrich H. Keller; Jamie "David" Klatt; Charles E. Lamkin; Charles Lewis; Martin J. McCormack; York L. Phillips; Christopher Owens; Marlene Parmley; Daniel Parshley; William R. Powell; Gary W. Reynolds; Lawrence Rogers; G. Tony Sammons; John L. Teramo; Florence F. Vinning; Donald C. Young



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