It’s been four years now since the town of Zebulon stopped holding its meetings in the old council chambers on Horton Street. Ever since that time, the building has stood vacant, unused by the town or the public, unsold despite the town’s efforts to attract buyers by, among other things, lowering the price.
Now commissioners are looking to make use of the facility again, possibly as a place to be rented out for parties or other private events, perhaps as overflow space to provide some Parks and Recreation Dept. activities.
Whatever use the town deems appropriate, we believe any use is better than no use.
As staff writer Aaron Moody notes in a story on today’s front page, any building that sits vacant for a long period of time is more prone to the ravages of time. A building put to regular use may suffer the wear and tear of that use, but it also benefits from the regular use of its systems, including heating and air conditioning. Regular traffic also increases the likelihood that small problems could be detected before they become major headaches.
As the economy starts to thaw out, it appears there has finally been some significant activity on the real estate market for the host of buildings the town has put up for sale in downtown Zebulon.
The council chambers, which consists primarly of one large room, is attractive on both the inside and the outside. It seems reasonable, if the current real estate market continues to thrive, that a buyer might soon come forward with enough money to buy the building. If that happens, the plans under consideration now – which call for short-term uses – would not inhibit a sale. But they would put some amount of money in the town’s coffers and, at the same time, would put to use a building that really is an asset in downtown Zebulon.