A member of the Selma town councilman had some tough words for his fellow board members after agreeing to spend money to appraise the former town hall building.
In a 3-to-1 vote, with Councilman Tommy Holmes dissenting, the board approved spending up to $2,000 to appraise the building to determine its value. The building has been vacant since last year when the majority of town offices were moved into the former First Citizens Bank Building in Downtown Selma, which is the new town hall.
In December, the council discussed hiring an appraiser to determine the value of the property but postponed making a decision until this month until they could find out the cost.
“The council has the responsibility to know the value of assets,” Mayor Cheryl Oliver said during the discussions Tuesday night. “Unless you know the value you guess at things.”
“Right now it is an expensive piece of storage,” Councilman Mark Petersen said, referencing old records and furniture stored in the building. “We don’t want this to fall further in disrepair.”
“It’s a valuable building,” Oliver replied. “It has such potential. We might find ourselves with some money.”
Councilman Holmes disagreed. “It’s $2,000 wasted if you’re not going to get rid of the building.” He suggested the building be used as a police substation and offices for the Parks and Recreation Department. In December, Holmes said the current Parks & Rec offices, which is located in a house next to the public library, is in poor condition.
“Why do we keep wasting tax dollars,” Holmes asked. “We need to keep the building and use it for the Town of Selma. We need to slow down the purchase of property in Selma. We’ve got to slow down.”
Town Manager Jon Barlow said an appraisal “…would be good information to have.”
“If you get $300,000 for it, it will be wasted on something.”
According to county tax records, the building is 5,438 square feet and is located on a 0.13 acre lot. The county has valued the building at $324,300.
Mayor Pro Tem Jackie Lacy was absent from the meeting and did not vote.