Over $2 million needed to fix Armory

Published: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:23 PM.

Emo said changes in both proposed plans would bring the Armory up to more current code and more consistent historical perspective. He said the main difference between the two possible interior designs is the location of the kitchen.

“We are looking at something that would stand the test of time,” he said.

 “I want to know where the money’s coming from,” said Commissioner William Massey said. “I love the Armory. It’s a good building. I couldn’t vote to put the county in that kind of debt. In 20 years, I’ll be dead and gone and still be cussed. If we have a storm and we put this county in debt for almost $3 million on this project, the county will be in a mess.”

Emo said his firm had not been asked to do a business report. “That may be a logical outcome because this is a tremendous asset,” he said. “People love the building in its current state but there are restrictions for how you can use it and for what you can charge for use. There are issues in the building that, if not mitigated and corrected are just going to get worse.

“Properly managed it could not only start making some money itself but filling up a lot of hotel rooms,” Emo said. “Filling up a lot of restaurants, caterers and that sort of thing.”

Commissioner Smokey Parrish asked how much money had been allocated to repairs over the next year.

Tourist Development Council Administrator Curt Blair said, with uncollected but expected revenue, the TDC could provide roughly $500,000 for the project to be spent within the next eight or 10 months and about $200,000 annually after that.

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