On Tuesday night the Walnut Cove Board of Commissioners left the future of the town police department uncertain, but another fate was decided at the crowded meeting.
The board voted unanimously to accept a $21,500 demolition bid from Pinnacle Grading to tear down the old Dodson Hotel on Main Street.
“The old Dodson Hotel’s coming down,” said Mayor Lynn Lewis.
Town Manager Byron Ellis said he would be contacting Pinnacle Grading the day after the meeting to get the ball rolling.
“It’s getting worse by the day,” he said of the hotel’s condition.
The town commissioners hope to see the building demolished by July, when the Walnut Cove Fire Department will likely be inspected. The department is hopeful that it can lower its insurance rating this year, but the crumbling, three-story hotel could negatively impact the department’s score.
The town now plans to auction off any property remaining in the hotel. The owner was given the opportunity to remove the property if she desired. The items, including antiques, will be auctioned on June 15.
Commissioner Kim Lewis said after the meeting, “I hate to see the unique architecture of Walnut Cove disintegrate before our eyes, but it is an unsafe property that we can’t leave standing.”
Commissioner Sharon Conaway also said it is sad, but added that a letter from a Preservation NC leader who reviewed the site did not give much hope for the restoration of the building.
In April, the town agreed to accept a donation of the condemned hotel property after Mayor Lynn Lewis broke a tie vote, and last month the town asked for more proposals to determine the future of the building.
Ellis said the town had a proposal from Bruce Younts, who proposed to demolish the hotel and redevelop the property, but the commissioners were not in favor of his offer to pay $1 to obtain the property. The proposal did not have a clawback clause, which was another concern for the commissioners.