TOPSAIL BEACH | The building that was once a haven for recovering sick and injured sea turtles will undergo basic repair as Topsail Beach commissioners decide its fate.
Commissioners on June 11 approved a $3,100 bid to remove mold and make other repairs to the former Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.
The town assumed ownership of the 900-square-foot building, which sits on town-owned land, last month. The former turtle hospital, which looks much like a single-car garage, operated in the town for more than a decade before it was relocated to a new, much larger facility on the mainland in neighboring Surf City last November.
Topsail Beach Town Manager Tim Holloman said he’d like to use the building as a storage facility until commissioners decide what to do with it.
“That’s expensive storage,” Commissioner Tom Eggleston said after Holloman reviewed the bids. “If we would entertain the notion of selling it we could get it on the tax rolls.”
Former town commissioner Grier Fleischhauer said the building is on a “non-conforming” lot, leaving the town with two options — use the building as storage or tear it down.
“I don’t think you can build another floor on it,” he said.
Commissioners approved the higher of two bids 4-0 to make repairs to the building, including mold remediation and removing dry wall. The higher bid included an additional $800 for cleanup on the outside of the building.
Commissioner Julian Bone was excused from being absent.
Holloman said he will likely ask the board next month to consider approving bids to make electrical repairs to the building. That work is expected to cost around $5,000, he said.
In other business, commissioners unanimously approved the fiscal 2014-15 budget, which holds the tax rate steady at 29.25 cents per $100 property valuation.
A total of 17.25 cents per $100 valuation will go into the town’s general operating fund. The remaining 12 cents per $100 valuation will be placed in the town’s Beach, Inlet and Sound Maintenance fund.