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Pembroke not quite ready to take possession of former BCES
Pembroke seal USE

The Pembroke City Council and its Downtown Development Authority are not quite ready to take possession of the former Bryan County Elementary School and its surrounding property on Ash Branch Church Road that they purchased in late 2014.

Council and DDA members discussed the matter at a workshop Monday evening after being told that Bryan County Schools is ready to relinquish possession of the building and property.

The city agreed in December 2014 to use $187,500 in SPLOST funds to buy 6.59 acres adjacent to the school, while the DDA agreed to buy the building for $812,500. It has been targeted for redevelopment as affordable senior housing, but that will not begin until next year.

“The Board of Education has maintained possession and they are now ready to surrender the land and building,” according to city attorney Thomas Branch. “They want to get it off their books because they are paying for the maintenance and utilities.”

The purchase agreement calls for the DDA to begin making payments on a promissory note, for which the city is the guarantor, when it takes possession of the building. Branch, however, said the city has not seen the promissory note and will have to work with BCS to make sure all of the proper documents are in order.

During its regular meeting Monday night, the city council discussed putting a resolution on the November ballot asking voters to approve or disapprove the sale of distilled spirits by the glass in restaurants. They currently can only serve beer and wine.

The council will vote on the resolution at its May 9 meeting. The issue is one of economic development, City Clerk Betty Hill said, because restaurants will not locate within the city without the ability to serve distilled spirits.

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