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March 29, 2007 Issue

Commissioners accept bid for center
Wadley Dev. Authority buys old Wadley Hotel and Cafe
Comcast crash

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Commissioners accept bid for center

• Jefferson County Commissioners to cover expenses that grants will not cover for technical center

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners voted in its most recent monthly meeting held Tuesday, March 13, to move forward by accepting a bid for the building of the addition to the Jefferson County Technical Center.

“They’re going to cover any expenses the grant won’t cover,” said Matt Hodges, director of the center.

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“I was informed last week that Paul (Bryan) and the Commissioners had met at a work session that they were going to handle (it). Of course I was thrilled, excited.”

Hodges said he believed the commission would make the right decision for Jefferson County.

“It just shows that the county is committed to making Jefferson County a better place. I appreciate everyone’s support and dedication to this facility.”

Since the bids for the building are still above the $500,000 grant the county is receiving to build the addition, the county commission asked the Jefferson County Board of Education to partner in the venture.

Information at the board of education’s website states, “The Commissioners have bid and re-bid the project and they have the project now at $591,000. The Commissioners have asked since we will be using the building on a daily basis at no cost, if we could pay half of the $91,000, which is $45,500.”

As an alternative, the county commissioners have discussed the project with Rep. Jimmy Lord and Sen. J.B. Powell to determine if additional funds can be disbursed from the state budget. If so, assistance from the Board of Education may not be needed.

During the commission meeting, Bryan told the commissioners the General Assembly is defunding all grants that are not moving and said a concern to consider is that the $500,000 grant for the building may be withdrawn. The commission accepted a bid for $540,280 from Spratlin & Sons of Lincolnton to construct the building. The company offered a reduction of $1,720 because of a reduction in the price of lumber.

Additionally, the commission and the company worked together to make other modifications and thereby reduce the cost further, Bryan said.



Wadley Dev. Authority buys old Wadley Hotel and Cafe

• Wadley Development Authority plans to restore building after applying for grant money

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Wadley Development Authority bought the Wadley Hotel and Café on Main Street, according to Authority Chairman Edie Pundt, who added the authority closed on the property March 7.

Pundt, who would not give the purchase price, said the Authority’s intent is to restore the building.

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“Clean it up because it’s in such bad shape,” she said. “We are trying to get some volunteers to help with it. We’re going to do some fund raisers and apply for grant money. We would like to be able to offer it to a business to lease or buy it at a low enough price it won’t cost them an arm and a leg. That doesn’t mean it will stay a hotel and café.”

Pundt said the fundraisers, in addition to a town hall meeting to be scheduled, will help get the word to area citizens.

“We have had people tell us that they’d be willing to help us,” she said. “We bid on a couple of other buildings on the other side of town. Our whole purpose is to try to keep the buildings from deteriorating.”

The building was sold for $18,693, according to John Murphy, a local attorney who handled the sale for the Authority.

“It’s really four buildings,” he said.

“There’s a former drug store, a former café, a former hotel and a heating building. They share common walls but have separate sewerage and electrical systems.”

Murphy said the property is less than a quarter of an acre. He said the Development Authority’s only intent is to stabilize the situation and repair the roofs of the buildings.



Comcast crash

• Sunday wreck wreaks havoc on downtown structures

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

A Louisville woman caused severe damage to structures on Broad Street Sunday afternoon.

Lithia Thompson, 35, of Louisville, was traveling south on Mulberry Street headed towards Broad Street in a blue 2000 Ford Explorer in downtown Louisville at 7 p.m., according to Louisville Police Chief Jimmy Miller.

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“She stated that she blacked out and lost control of the vehicle,” Miller said Monday afternoon. “We believe some sort of medical condition caused the wreck because she doesn’t remember a lot of what happened.”

After blacking out, Thompson proceeded to drive through the concrete barrier at the market house causing damage to the concrete and the wooden structure. The Ford Explorer then came to rest after striking the Comcast Cable building, Miller said. “During the afternoon a lot of people are in that area,” Miller said. “But there was nobody in the way when it happened, thank goodness. I think she is going to be ok.”

Miller said Thompson was transported to the Medical College of Georgia by Rural Metro. Miller also said he did not believe that Thompson suffered any life-threatening injuries.

As of press time, Miller said that action is still pending until investigators are able to talk to Thompson when she gets back to Louisville.

“I am sure there will be some charges involved,” Miller said.

The city of Louisville, who owns the market house, is currently working to get the over 200 year old structure repaired.

“We plan on repairing it and putting it back like it was,” Louisville City Administrator Don Rhodes said Monday morning. “We are waiting for an insurance adjuster to come and we have already contacted a contractor to look at the damage.

The contractor does a lot of historic preservation.”

The preservation of the market house is imperative to the city of Louisville and the Jefferson Historical Society.

Historical Society President Leroy Lewis was on hand at the strange occurrence chronicling it for the history of the city and the county by taking photographs.

Rhodes said that Thompson struck two of the wooden columns.

“We think we will be able to salvage them,” he said. “We can’t replace the columns because they are over 200-years-old.”

Rhodes said besides a few motorists running over the curb near the market house, nothing reached the magnitude of this accident that he could remember.




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