Smyrna Town Council voted Monday night to move forward with the demolition of the vacant property at 431-437 Smyrna/Clayton Blvd.

Town Manager Dave Hugg informed council at Monday's meeting that the town had received bids for demolition of roughly $80,000, but then was informed that the market value for the property was closer to $60,000 to $65,000. Therefore, Hugg had the town's Manager of Building and Inspections Grant Prichard reach out for lower bids. Prichard said he had received a bid for $44,710; it was noted some of the costs such as an asbestos survey weren't included in that price.

Councilman Anthony DeFeo questioned the additional costs, asking Prichard if it would bring the total cost over $50,000; Prichard said no.

Earlier in the discussion, DeFeo and several council members voiced their frustration with the vacant property. DeFeo said it's time to bite the bullet and demolish.

Hugg was asked how the town would pay for the demolition since there's no line item in the 2013 budget; he said they would need to move some things around and advance some money from the general fund at some point to cover the cost.

Before passing the motion to approve the bid, council passed an amendment stating the bid is approved but with the expectation that the project cost will not exceed $50,000.

After the motion was approved, Smyrna resident and business owner Howard Johnson thanked council members for the approval and for the work they've done to improve Smyrna's image.

"It's amazing what an improvement it's made. Thank you," Johnson said.

Visitor speaking requirements changed

Residents will no longer be required to state their name and address before addressing council during public forum.

The decision was made after Councilwoman Valerie White brought forth a concern from a resident regarding providing an address considering the meetings are streamed live on the town's website. Since the meetings are streamed live, the concern more or less stems from the fear an individual may take advantage of the information and break in or attack the resident.

She said Smyrna is generally a safe community but she could understand the concern.

Council decided to drop the address requirement, but now residents will be asked to fill out a card with their name, address and contact information. Therefore, if council needs to contact the person regarding an issue they can.

North Duck Creek utility crossing bid approved

Council approved the bid for the directional crossing aspect of the projects that will put utilities north of Duck Creek.

Hugg said the bids were higher than originally expected. This portion of the project was expected to cost roughly $800,000, but the bids came in at slightly over $1 million. Hugg contributed the high bid price to the complexity of the job.

He said the town will go back and review the scope of the project, and some changes may be made. Due to design changes with other aspects of the projects, Hugg said that despite the higher price of the project, there are sufficient funds to cover the increase. The projects are funded by loans from USDA and DNREC.

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