ROSEBORO — A list of problems at the Roseboro Community Building forced town officials to close the facility, and eventually place the structure on the market to sell.
During a special meeting last week, through a closed bidding process, the building has been sold and released from the hands of the town. The new owner of the facility is Percy Owens, who purchased the building for $31,000.
Vandalism and repairs forced the community building on Northeast Railroad Street to be shut down in September, forcing the senior program being housed at the location to find other options for meeting. Commissioners eventually declared the property surplus once it was determined that the structure was old and repairs could cost the town tens of thousands of dollars.
“The cost to fix the community building is way above our budgeted amount,” Roseboro mayor Alice Butler said during a meeting earlier this year.
Commissioners Ray Clark Fisher and Cary Holland were asked by Butler to inquire about the needed repairs and bring a report back to the town with estimates. Once those estimated repairs totaled nearly $40,000, the town decided to sell the property.
For years, the senior program has used the community building as its meeting location. The town, which previously owned the building, was renting the property out to town residents for different events such as parties. Following an incident last year, the facility was no longer being rented and because of vandalism and damage, the building was closed for repair.
Once the building was closed, the senior program had to find other options for housing and in October began meeting at C.E. Perry School, but that contract was proposed to end at the close of the 2016-17 school year.
In addition to declaring the property as surplus, The town agreed to pay $200 a month toward the cost of utilities in the future location.
At one time, the Roseboro Nutrition Site offered 49 seniors a place to go and be a part of the community, with an average daily attendance of 18. For those seniors who are unable to get out and travel, meals were delivered.
“The senior site is not only a place for feeding, it’s a place you can go to and talk to people who you can relate to,” one Roseboro resident stated to the board during a meeting earlier this year.
Gilbert Owens has been fighting for the senior program since he became the site manager in March 2012. Almost two years ago, Owens asked the board to make the nutrition site a Senior Citizens Center, only the second in the county.
The Roseboro Nutrition Site has been a viable and important institution in Sampson County since 1973, according to Owens. For those 44 years, the site has been providing nutritional meals to seniors on a daily basis.
Plans for the building are to now address the problems and issues with the flooring and roof and utilize the facility to once again house the senior program.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.