When the town of Zebulon first went to voters with a plan for purchasing and renovating the old Wakelon School, part of their idea was that the town could sell several buildings it owned and used in downtown Zebulon to help pay back some of the money it was borrowing to buy the old school.
That idea made sense and, had they sold at a reasonable price in a relatively short period of time, it would have been an important step in helping recover some of the town’s newly-incurred expenses.
But times changed. The economy tanked and property values fell.
Now, as the economy starts to recover, the town still owns most of the buildings it operated from when the seat of government was downtown.
The town has significantly reduced its asking prices and that has, at least, generated some interest among potential buyers.
Recently, two bidders offered prices so low the town scoffed as it turned those bids down.
Perhaps now is the time for town leaders to reconsider their plans to sell the property. There are other ideas floating around for possible uses in downtown, including an arts center.
Other entities have offered significant funding to operate such a concern for a period of time and as commissioners consider quality of life issues for residents, having an arts center to cater to some of the finer aspects of life might be a welcome addition to downtown.
Or perhaps the town ought to consider its other long-range needs. At some point, even the new, beautiful town hall will be filled and new employees will need space to do their work. Having property already available might make it much easier and more cost-effective for the town to expand its services as the town’s population grows and demand for those services increases.
Based on the recent activity and the lack of revenue the town seems likely to generate from any future sale, now might be the time for town leaders to reassess their plans.