ArmoryPer the City Council’s request, Charlotte City Manager has provided members with more a more detailed analysis of the former Army National Guard Armory. Council voted 6-to-1 on Dec. 8 to enter into an agreement to purchase the property for $237,000.
Part of that agreement, however, provided a 45-day window for the city to perform its due diligence, including having the property inspected for asbestos, before the purchase was finalized. Since, council members have requested more detailed information regarding the property.
“Why not take this extra time to look at everything,” said councilmember Lloyd Conway, who made the request for more information. “Personally I wanted to take this project for as much of a test drive as I could before making a final decision.”
Guetschow said the council has until its first meeting in February to back out of the agreement or decide to proceed with the purchase. He said he planned to provide a detailed report that lays out the pros and cons of purchasing the property in the council’s Jan. 26 meeting packet, which was distributed Friday, Jan. 23. The packet is available on the city’s website,
Guetschow said the report will include a thorough analysis of what alternative uses could take place at the property as well as if it is economically desirable to utilize the Armory for its intended purpose as additional storage or to construct a completely new facility.
Guetschow said other departments within the City have a need for increased storage, including the police department and the wastewater treatment facility. He said the City has explored ways to increase its storage capacity and he feels this is the most effective way.
If the council decides to move forward, the purchase will be made utilizing money from the DPW’s revolving equipment fund.
Guetschow said the request for a more detailed analysis may have come, in part, due to public criticism council members received after voting in December to enter into a purchase agreement. Criticism of the decision included frustration with the city’s decision to spend money to purchase the property when it has shown an inability to adequately fund street repairs.
“This gives the council the benefit of seeing a detailed analysis,” Guetschow said. “It was presented previously in general terms. Right now is the perfect time to take a closer look.”
The council may vote at its Jan. 26 meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at City Hall, to withdraw from the agreement or to proceed with the purchase. A decision does not have to be finalized until early February.