- Published on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 13:03
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Colonial Beach Town Hall was the only government building to report any damage from Super Storm Sandy.
The building has had problems for years but the recent winds took their toll on the old building. The front
window in Finance Director Joan Grant’s office blew out at least four inches and had to be boarded up to avoid falling out and shattering during the storm.
For the safety of the employees, Town Hall was shut down throughout the storm until it could be inspected to ensure it was safe to return.
Town Manager Val Foulds gave the Journal a tour after the storm. The upstairs had water damage to the ceiling just outside the conference room. Pieces of drywall had fallen and Foulds had to empty a few buckets into the upstairs bathroom during the tour.
Foulds reported that some employees have reported lingering colds they can’t shake and this reporter started feeling symptoms within minutes of being upstairs.
Foulds has not been pushing for a new building because there have been more pressing issues, such as the old police station building which had flooding issues during hurricanes, nor easters and floods. Police had to be relocated a few years back when mold issues produced the same physical symptoms with employees in that building.
Public Works Committee Chairman Gary Seeber recently discussed the idea of purchasing the shopping center on Colonial Ave. and Euclid from the Rankins family in order to create a government center to house the school board as well and continuing to rent the existing store to Rankins Hardware and honor the other stores’ leases.
However the town is legally limited in what it can do concerning real estate transactions according to Councilman Tim Curtin. The town recently passed a resolution to authorize review of the Redevelopment and Housing Authority in Colonial Beach, which seems to have been inactive for several years.
The RHA as a separate entity, could not only purchase the center and lease to the town and Rankins but could make the sale of boardwalk property move forward in a much smoother process.