by Geoff Fox
Hancock officials have signed a contract to purchase 77 West Main Street, formerly known as Weaver’s Restaurant, and included the parking lot across the street for $195,000.
Town Manager Mike Faith said once the town has completed that acquisition, the parking lot will have a parking meter kiosk added to it.
Once cleaned out, Faith said the town will put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the building.
Faith said when Weaver’s closed, it was as if the owners turned out the lights and left everything as is in the building.
Some of the equipment in the building was leased and the town will have the companies who have ownership of that equipment come pick it up.
Anything else left in the former restaurant would then have to be sold.
“We’re not sure if we’re going to sell it separately or with the building,” Faith said about the equipment.
During the April town meeting, town officials unanimously gave Mayor Tim Smith authority to sign the contract to purchase the property at 77 W est Main Street.
The purchase price of the property was $195,000. Faith said the owner is getting $190,000 with the other $5,000 going toward paying taxes, water, and sewer.
Councilman David Kerns said the money to make the purchase is not coming from taxpayer money. Instead, it is coming from money set aside for the town in former Governor Larry Hogan’s budget for the town to clean up the downtown area.
“We have to spend that money from Governor Hogan on that,” Kerns said.
Faith said the town’s main objective with the purchase is to acquire the parking lot because of parking issues in town.
“We can use that resource to help citizens, help businesses, that’s the main reason,” he said during the meeting. “We don’t have any intention of keeping the restaurant.”
Once the building is cleaned up, the mayor and council would have to decide at a later point exactly what will be done.
There are also some things that need to be fixed, such as a leak in the roof.
“I don’t think the town’s interested in putting a lot of money into it, but we’ll probably put some money into it just to get it to where when somebody walks in there’s not water on the floor,” Faith said.
Councilman Roland Lanehart, Jr. said the town couldn’t purchase just the parking lot, as the building and lot were a package deal.
An ordinance introduced in March and passed in April allowed the purchase of the real estate. A closing on the property is expected in May.