By: Thomas Sherrill, The News Reporter
Columbus County government will soon own BB&T’s campus on U.S. 701 north of Whiteville, paying about a third of its estimated tax value.
The unanimous approval for the $1.25 million purchase came at the end of Monday’s Columbus County commissioners meeting. Commissioner Charles McDowell was absent from the meeting.
“I think it’s a good investment for the county and will continue to help us grow,” Commissioners Lavern Coleman said after the vote.
“It’s a great opportunity for Columbus County. It’s too good to pass down,” Commissioner Chris Smith said. “It’s a no brainer.”
According to Columbus County GIS, the North BB&T campus is composed of 10 individual parcels, a combined 10.49 acres, with a tax value of $3,327,400.
The board also approved a budget amendment for $1.3 million, with the extra $50,000 going to the appraisal, survey and closing costs.
The county will finance the purchase for three years through BB&T at a .97 percent interest rate.
“I’m looking forward to the growth and hoping the decision we made will help this county moving forward,” Commissioner Jerome McMillian said.
“I would say it’s a no brainer … it’ll be up to the new manager to see how it would benefit the county the most. Certainly an opportunity the county couldn’t afford not to take,” Commissioner Giles “Buddy” Byrd said.
“It is a no brainer like Commissioner Byrd said, for what we’re getting it for it’s cheap space to better serve whatever we need to use it for,” Commissioner Brent Watts said.
New County Manager Eddie Madden, whose first day was March 29, said that he anticipates closing on the property sometime after the 60-day inspection period.
Madden said after the meeting that the use of the building is still up in the air.
“We’re still considering options for the property and will be doing a facilities master plan very shortly in addition to going through our inspections and due diligence before closing,” Madden said.