By DEUCE NIVEN
With plans to move its Sylva based railroad repair, restoration and training business to the Emerson area near Tabor City, Steam Services of America is now poised to be the first tenant of the recently completed Garrell Depot in downtown Tabor City.
Town Council members quickly, and without discussion, agreed Tuesday to instruct the town manager and town attorney to negotiate a one-year lease of offices in the depot for SSOA.
Council also agreed to buy an adjacent dilapidated structure, a former gas station that abuts the Garrell Depot parking lot now
SSOA’s plans were revealed late last month, with a $9 million grant to the town government to acquire property and extend nearby railroad tracks at Emerson for the rail firm’s operations.
After meeting less than a half-hour in closed session to discuss property acquisition, council agreed to buy the land and building from Esteban Mendez Jr. of Little River for $27,000, and spend another $17,000 to demolish the building.
State Rep. Brenden Jones, who shepherded that grant through the legislative process, is expected in Tabor City at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24, for a ceremony welcoming SSOA and its president Robert Franzen to the community, Town Manager Al Leonard told council later during Tuesday’s meeting.
Look for more on this story, and details from Tuesday’s Tabor City Council meeting, in this week’s Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.