By Frank Lewis
October 30, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
Portsmouth City Council voted Monday night to bring forward a request to authorize the preparation of legislation for appropriating $300,000 from Fund 301 for phase one of the rehabilitation of the former Adelphia building for the relocation of the Waterworks Distribution employees and equipment from the nearly dilapidated former Naval Reserve facility.
City Waterworks Director Sam Sutherland said the facility upgrade would be paid for out of the city’s Capitol Improvements (CIP) budget.
“Is there money in the CIP for this?” First Ward Councilman Kevin W. Johnson asked.
“Right now there is about $700,000 unencumbered in the CIP Fund,” Portsmouth City Auditor Trent Williams said.
With Phase 2 possibly to begin next year, Johnson said he liked the timing to be able to split the appropriation over a two-year period, thus, not depleting the CIP Fund.
“We have all been wondering what the heck to do with that building,” Johnson said. “This solves the need you have had for a long time since you lost your property (pipeyard) to King’s Daughters.”
The city vacated the area of Spring Street and a portion of Argonne Road for the expansion of King’s Daughters Medical Center, which resulted in equipment being moved to the Naval Reserve building since that expansion.
“Don’t get me wrong. That was a good thing,” Sutherland said. “It brought jobs into the city.”
Sutherland said there is a a lot of space in the Adelphia building that can be utilized, and not only could the billing department be moved in there, utilizing an existing drive-through window, but it could also be used for storage.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.