BOMBAY –– Common wisdom says you have to spend money to make money. Members of the Franklin County Industrial Development Agency are going to put that old adage to the test.
IDA members voted to pay to have electricity installed in a vacant warehouse on the former Gildan clothing factory property in the hopes that the small investment will yield a positive return when the property is sold.
The investment will be $4,163.
The agency plans to spend the money to have electrical service installed in the building, which has been vacant for many years, in the hopes of attracting a buyer. The warehouse is currently being leased by the town of Bombay to store a variety of that had to be moved when the IDA sold a garage on the property, but that lease is temporary –– and not profitable.
The town has signed a six-month lease with the IDA for $1 while it sorts through the material and decides what to keep and what to dispose of.
IDA CEO Jeremy Evans said there is limited electrical service in the building now, but essentially just enough to power a security system. The planned work would involve the installation of a second panel box to provide additional power to the building, he said.
“There is a pole out by the front of the garage toward the front of the property, and the service would be put in there,” Evans said.
At present, “it is just a barn,” said IDA board member Archie McKee.
The building does not plumbing or running water, and has not been used in years. Some board members questioned if it is worth it to spend over $4,000 on a vacant building.
“We do not know who is going to be buying the building,” said IDA Chairman Justus Martin. “Is it really something that we should be doing?” he asked.
Other board members said that having electricity in the warehouse will add to the resale value when they try to sell it.
Evans said he already has been contracted by several people who might want to purchase the building but did not reveal the potential buyers.
The IDA purchased the building over 25 year ago and Evans says he does not know the value of it because an appraisal has not been done in some time.
Evans said he had solicited a quote for the work from Dow Electric, and he recommended the agency board approve the contract.
“My recommendation is to approve it because Dow Electric is certainly qualified, Tony Dow lives there and he has provided me with a lot of free advice and labor that is related to both buildings,” said Evans.
The value of the contract does not require the agency to go through a competitive bidding process.
A majority of the IDA board members voted in favor of the agreement; McKee cast the sole vote against it.
In addition to the warehouse and the garage, which was purchased last year by Bombay Town Justice Curtis Smith for about $23,000, the 23-acre property also includes the former clothing factory. That building is currently being leased by North Bangor architectural firm Tim McCarthy Architect PC, which is using the factory space to manufacture “net-zero, high-quality” modular homes.