Mebane’s city council voted Monday night to spend $535,000 for about 6 acres of land beside the city’s community park.
Council members did not commit to the future purpose; several options were mentioned: a possible replacement for a police station, a community center or future YMCA, or additional soccer field or potentially a lacrosse field, or some combination of those purposes.
Sketches were shown with several configurations and combinations of potential future uses for the property. City manager Chris Rollins said that none of the future plans were “written in stone,” but that the additional land provided future options for the city.
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Councilman Tim Bradley urged restraint, warning that the city will have numerous needs in the years ahead, and questioned buying land at what he considered such a high price when no one else has been willing to purchase the property. “It seems like a lot of money for land that isn’t selling,” Bradley said, noting that the property has been for sale for several years.
Bradley also questioned whether that location would ultimately be the right one for a new police station, noting that the city has a study underway currently to determine whether and what size a new police station should be. Bradley suggested that a location closer to the interstate highway might ultimately be a preferred location.
However, council member Jill Auditori said she was “excited about this land,” terming it a “smart investment in our future.” She noted, “Prices for land will not be going down in Mebane,” and mayor Ed Hooks, who does not vote, suggested land near the interstate would inevitably be “four to five time this price” per acre.
Council member Patty Philipps said that having property adjacent to land the city already owns “makes it a really attractive option.”
Ultimately, on Auditori’s motion, the council voted 3-2 in favor of the purchase. Auditori, Philipps, and Sean Ewing voted in favor; Bradley and councilman Everette Greene voted against.
The council reserved the right to back out of the deal if an underground petroleum tank could not be remedied by the seller.
Later in the same week, on Wednesday night (Feb. 3), the council divided in a different 3-2 configuration, supporting the rezoning of land near the corner of West Ten Road and Buckhorn Road for two warehouses, totaling 675,000 square feet: https://alamancenews.com/in-another-3-2-vote-mebane-agrees-to-annex-rezone-46-acres-for-warehouses/
OTHER MEBANE AREA NEWS:
When will NC 119 construction be complete? https://alamancenews.com/when-will-all-that-road-construction-for-nc-119-bypass-be-completed/
Council praises retiring city manager, sets salary for new one: https://alamancenews.com/david-cheek-retires-as-mebane-city-manager-mayors-councilmen-commend-his-tenure/