City Council approves historic building ordinance

by | June 15, 2018 5:00 am

Last Updated: June 13, 2018 at 10:16 am

Walterboro City Council approved an ordinance aimed at making the renovation of historic commercial buildings in the city more attractive for property owners.
The ordinance, given a public hearing and second reading at city council June 5 meeting, will provide a tax incentive based on the state’s Bailey Bill.
The assessment will be available for buildings considered historic (50 years or older) and will be based on the fair market value of the property at the time of a pre-renovation preliminary assessment.
The property must undergo historic rehabilitation according to standards set by the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Walterboro’s design guidelines for historic districts.
If the property owner obtains the assessment, the taxes on the building could be reduced by 50 percent for 20 years.
• Before closing out the 2017-2018 General Fund, council members approved a supplemental $75,000 appropriation to the Finance Department account.
The funds were used to prepare 300 Hampton St., the former bank building, to be used as a service center for city operations. The city had allocated $25,000 in the budget for the renovation work; the final price tag on the changes to the building had reached $100,000.
• Council approved changing the zoning of a parcel of land on Carn Street from Medium Density Residential to Neighborhood Commercial District.
• Steedley Fence LLC was awarded a $26,734.32 contract to install new fencing at the Forest Hills Tennis Center.
• Finance Director Amy Risher and the Finance Department’s staff were recognized for their financial reporting. Their efforts led the Government Financial Officers Association to award the city a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting and Awards of Financial Reporting Achievement for Risher and her staff. The finance department has received the honor for six consecutive years.
• Christan Spires was formally introduced as the city’s new tourism director and councilmembers were informed that Adam Davis was leaving his post as the city’s Parks Director.
• Following an executive session, council members reappointed Deborah Kane-O’Quinn as associate municipal judge for a two-year term and Maryann Blake as city prosecutor for a one-year term.

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