Editor's note: This story has been updated to state the real estate office is being leased.
The North Topsail Beach temporary town hall headquarters will yet again be moved — this time to another temporary location in Sneads Ferry.
Following damages from Hurricane Florence, the town hall operations were moved to a warehouse beside a Pizza Hut at 2021 N.C. 172 in Sneads Ferry. Now, with the opening up of an actual office space, the town hall will be consolidated with the North Topsail Beach Police Department at 1000 N.C. 210.
The office will be closed from Wednesday, May 29 through Friday, May 31, as officials complete the transition. The new location will be open at 8 a.m. on Monday, June 3.
“A lot of it has to do with the expenses we're incurring,” Betsy Brothers, NTB finance officer, said of the move.
NTB is currently paying $3,250 a month plus expenses for the location on N.C. 172, according to Brothers. The town is also operating a trailer out of which the police department has been operating since the hurricane. The cost for the trailer is a further $700 a month plus utilities.
According to Brothers, the new location will cost $2,500 plus utilities for a single location instead of the current two.
“It’s going to save taxpayer dollars,” Brothers said.
Despite the cost-effectiveness, Brothers said, the move was actually brought on by the work environment. The current location is hollowed-out and metal walled, with a lot of echo and no office partitions.
“This is definitely more suitable for the working environment,” Brothers said.
When NTB officials found out that recently retired Kathy Parker was leasing her real estate office, they jumped on the opportunity. They will share the building with a Subway restaurant and a flooring company.
The price of the new temporary location is locked in for two years, according to Brothers. Two years, she added, is about how long it will take the town to complete renovations on NTB Town Hall on the island. Demolition on the building started on Wednesday.
“We’re probably going to be in this new location anywhere from one year to two years,” Brothers said. “Unless the board decides otherwise.”
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