Members of the Emerson City Council voted unanimously at a called meeting Monday evening to approve a resolution allowing the local government to close on the purchase of a downtown property just feet away from the municipality’s city hall facilities.
Emerson City Manager Kevin McBurnett said the City is looking to acquire a roughly 1.19-acre parcel along 685 Highway 293. The site, more commonly known to locals as “the Goss building,” is anchored by a roughly 3,600-square-foot, retail strip center-style structure.
“We have been in contact with the owners and have negotiated a price of $185,000 for this location,” McBurnett said. “As you know, the City has been talking for some time about the need to expand our facility … at this time, we have it under contract, we are waiting for the title search and for the survey to come in.”
He said he estimates the City will have to wait about 30 more days to receive all of the necessary paperwork to move forward with the purchase.
The resolution also allows the mayor or a designee to sign any and all documents required for the closing. McBurnett said SPLOST funds would be used to acquire the property.
“Once we obtain the building, we would utilize some more of our SPLOST funding to hire an architect and have them review it and see what we may need to do with that location to bring it up and make it a staple of the community, being that it is in our downtown area,” he said.
Any subsequent construction work on the facility, McBurnett added, would require council approval.
No potential City uses for the property were specified at Monday evening’s public meeting. However, McBurnett did say that an organization like the Georgia Municipal Association could be involved in financing any potential projects arising at the property.
“Then we would look at wrapping that up into a note, maybe some type of brick and mortar note,” he said.
Councilman Vincent Wiley asked McBurnett if the acquisition would include the house abutting the building.
"It is our belief that it does," he responded.
Elsewhere on the agenda, members of the Emerson City Council also voted unanimously to approve a conditional use permit allowing Excel Christian Academy to operate a child care center within its facilities along Seventh Street.
“The matter was taken up by planning and zoning and was recommended for approval,” McBurnett said.
Council members also approved an alcohol permit application by the Emerson Country Store, located at 618 Highway 293.
The roughly 1,300-square-foot building, which previously housed Hale's Grocery, has largely sat unoccupied for the last few years. A 2020 Bartow County tax assessment from earlier this year listed Marietta-based Prudential Investments, LLC as the owner of the property, with the fair market value of the 0.25-acre parcel priced at $91,157.
McBurnett said the applicant has requested a malt beverage retail package permit.
“The police department has investigated the applicant,” he said, “and has done an investigation of the facility and has recommended approval.”
Mayor Pro Tem Donnie Bagwell concluded the meeting by paying tribute to the late Clarence “David” Paris, who died Aug. 23 at the age of 80.
“David was city manager here for a few years, and we’re much appreciative to his work that he did in the City,” he said.