The town of Yadkinville has finally taken a step toward closure on a much-debated topic in town.
The previous location of the Dollar General in Yadkinville that burned down in December of 2006 has been a source of frustration and confusion for residents, town officials and the property owner.
The fire gutted the Dollar General portion of the building and caused fire and water damage to a previous beauty shop and restaurant beside the structure. The Yadkinville Post Office is the only structure still functioning on the property.
Two lawsuits were brought against property owner Hendricks and Heffners Corp. The first lawsuit says that the state of the property posed a hazard to the town, and the second lawsuit states that the property is in violation of the town’s nuisance code.
The property owner said that many of the complaints presented by the town were about changes he was asked to make by town officials.
“I wasn’t trying to get out of anything or beat anybody out of anything; I was basically doing what I’ve been told,” said David Heffner, president of Hendricks and Heffners Corp.
The town has opted to try to restore the outward appearance of the property as opposed to bulldozing the property to a concrete slab.
“Making improvements versus demolition is based on reasonable cost in relation to the structure’s current value,” Town Manager Christopher Ong said. “The hope is that improvements and enhancements will make the property more attractive to prospective buyers and tenants, regardless if it is for the purpose of infill occupancy or redevelopment.”
A public hearing was held on June 4 regarding the property. Town officials met with Hendricks and Heffners Corp.’s president and vice president to discuss the property and what could be done to resolve the issue.
Town officials offered to arrange to drop the pending lawsuits granted the property owners met with town officials to discuss what repairs were expected and those repairs were made as agreed in a timely manner.
Town Commissioner Betty Driver, Public Works Director Perry Williams, Ong and Hendricks and Heffner met on June 13 to discuss the repairs and timeline.
Town officials and the property owner agreed to the following repairs: pressure wash and prepare façade to make it ready to paint, find matching paint to correspond with paint on post office’s façade, paint façade, remove wire from front of building, remove fire damaged lumber pieces hanging from façade front, replace ceiling tiles, clean up trash surrounding the property and sidewalk and wash windows of vacant businesses.
The tentative completion date was set for September 1 this year. Upon satisfactory completion of the work, the town has agreed to drop the lawsuits and assist the property owner in trying to find a buyer.
“No one wins in a situation where you have a damaged structure sitting unoccupied,” Ong said. “This discourages economic development and attracts blight. One step that the town is working towards is implementing an economic development plan, which, among other things, will include a real estate inventory of available retail properties such as this one, to provide to potential developers.”
Hefner said that he is willing to work with the town to try to come to an agreement on this issue.
“I’m going to try to do what they want done,” Heffner said. “That’s what I did before, and I got sued for it.”
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at email@example.com.