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Experts disagree on what damaged building

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By Jenny Arnold

KERSHAW – One engineer says yes, the other says no.

That still leaves Kershaw business owner Kevin Robinson with a damaged store front.

Robinson has a heating and air business on Hampton Street. He told town officials a few months ago that the front of his building was damaged by the town’s Streetscape downtown revitalization project.

An engineer has since looked at the building.

The engineer’s report said work on Streetscape, which included removal of the sidewalk and foundation in front of the building and the use of a jackhammer, did not damage Robinson’s building.

But Robinson got his own structural engineer to do a report, and that report showed that the damage was caused by Streetscape.

A preliminary estimate has shown that it could cost $20,000 to fix the front of the building.

Kershaw Town Council discussed the issue at its Aug. 17 meeting.

“We can’t just give you $20,000 to fix every building,” Mayor Wayne Rhodes said. “Every building owner will need their buildings fixed. As a town, we’re trying to protect ourselves, too.”

Rhodes said the insurance companies for Robinson and the Streetscape contractor, Henley Construction, should work together to come to an agreement about the building damage.

Council asked Town Administrator Tony Starnes to get some legal advice on the matter and to call the contractor for Streetscape.

Councilman Morris Russell said he wants the issue to stay on council’s agenda until it’s resolved.

More town hall              discussion

Also at the Aug. 17 meeting, council unanimously approved second and final reading of the financing for the new town hall.

A 3.79 percent interest rate offered by BB&T and given first approval by council in June had expired before council held second and final reading on it.

First Citizens bank had offered the town a 4.03 interest rate for the loan earlier this year, but decided to match BB&T’s rate of 3.79 percent.

The town is borrowing about $300,000 toward the cost of the roughly $813,000 town hall. The total cost includes construction, a $32,000 sprinkler system, electrical and heating and air systems. The rest of the money will come from town reserves, Starnes said.

Furniture is not included in that price. Starnes said he’s recently received estimates to furnish the building in the $60,000 to $65,000 range.

The town will add $17,000 to the price tag by hiring another architect to work on changes town officials wanted to the outside of the building, and another $10,000 to pay a consultant, Robert Peach, to oversee construction.

Russell suggested that council should have a work session soon to hash out the exact costs of the building.

Contact senior reporter Jenny Arnold at jarnold@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1151