Commissioners vote to demolish hospital buildings

By Abby Cavenaugh

August 12, 2013

The Anson County Board of Commissioners voted 3-1, with Chair Anna Baucom opposed, to demolish the current Anson Community Hospital building and the original circa-1910 hospital buildings once the new hospital facility on U.S. 74 is completed. The commissioners also voted to accept County Manager Lawrence Gatewood’s recommendation that the current set of buildings referred to as “doctor’s buildings” be converted to the Board of Elections headquarters.

The demolitions will be at the expense of Carolinas Healthcare System, Gatewood said.

Gatewood said he and his team have performed thorough evaluations of the buildings in question, and found that only the doctor’s buildings were structurally sound enough for renovations. “I would like, if we can find somebody to take those buildings and find them structurally sound, to sell them, rather than tear them down,” Baucom said before the vote was taken.

Commissioners Dr. Jim Sims and Jarvis Woodburn voted for Gatewood’s recommendations, with Baucom opposed, while Commissioner Bobby Sikes asked for clarification before also voting in favor of the demolitions. “This is more than a year away, right?” he asked, before giving his consent and making the vote 3-1.

The stipulation was also made that if suitable buyers are found for any of the buildings scheduled for demolition, they will be sold.

Commissioners Ross Streater, Vancine Sturdivant and Harold Smith were absent from the meeting.

In other business at the commissioners’ Aug. 6 meeting:

  • The commissioners heard from George Wallace, who requested the commissioners’ support of Anson’s new semi-pro football team, the Anson M-Pact.
  • Department of Social Services director Lula Jackson reported that some recipients of the new NCFAST program had not received their benefits properly. The state is working on the problem, which Jackson said should be rectified soon.
  • Jackson also told the commissioners about the Union County Human Services Office’s plans to apply for a Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot Grant, which focuses on helping veterans moving in to rural areas transition back to civilian life. “Without us,” Commissioner Sims said, “Union County would appear to be more urban. With us, it greatly enhances their ability to receive the grant.” County Manager Gatewood agreed, stating that the grant would fit Anson County “to a T.” The commissioners voted unanimously to support the grant application.
  • The commissioners voted unanimously to approve a new historical properties commission. The vote allows the commissioners to move forward with appointing people to serve on the board.
  • The commissioners discussed plans for Gatewood’s successor as county manager. The commissioners agreed that they would set Sept. 13 as a deadline for applications, and involve the entire Board of Commissioners in the selection of a new county manager.
  • A new FMLA (family medical leave) personnel ordinance was also unanimously approved, and William Wall was unanimously reappointed to the Jury Commission.

The Anson County Board of Commissioners will next meet on Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. at the Anson County Government Center.