During its last meeting of the year, the Clifton Town Council took a step toward completing a project years in the making.
The Town Council has been looking to sell the Old Town Hall to resident and developer Royce Jarrendt, who plans to renovate and expand the historic building and return it to the town for public use. However, concerns about the building’s position in relation to a flood plain has been one of the last hurdles to clear before a deal is finalized.
"I have been in contact with people from the regional FEMA office and the county and I understand the preliminary plans [for work on Old Town Hall] are showing no flood plain issues," said Council member Wayne Nickum said. "We can use the maps we have for building code purposes and there don’t appear to be any concerns."
Council member Mike Anton said he was glad to hear the property, located on Chapel Road across from the existing Town Meeting Hall, has been cleared.
"This was the last outstanding concern, so I think it’s time to move forward with negotiations" with Jarrendt to make the sale, Anton said. "There are no outstanding items that could potentially come up before we OK the sale of this building."
The Town Council has preliminarily approved the transaction, which is widely viewed as a win-win for the community.
Council member Pat Layden noted the lot in which the house stands and the adjacent lot, which Jarrendt would also purchase, have already been consolidated and outlined with flags to make one larger lot.
The Town Council agreed to invite the town’s attorney to the next meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8, to discuss the next steps for the sale.
IN ADDITION, the Council voted to allow the Virginia Department of Transportation to begin work on a streetscaping study of Main Street.
Anton said money for the study would be taken out of an account established by VDOT for this kind of purpose, so the town would not lose any funds.
"VDOT recommended they take care of the existing street survey," said Susan Yantis, a member of the town’s special projects committee, who has been working with VDOT on changes the Council would like to make on Main Street.
Yantis said the committee had a long list of questions for VDOT, and after months of meetings and interactions, she is confident VDOT has answered all of their questions.
"We had already authorized the Council to enter into this kind of agreement with VDOT," she said.
Also during the meeting, Nickum reported that while regional FEMA representatives and members of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management will inspect the newly repaired Buckley Bridge within the next month, the bridge itself cannot be insured for flood damage.
"If we get another storm like the one that ruined the other bridge, we’ll have to start all over again," Nickum said.