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Scarborough & Hargett lease extension on docket for BOCC tonight

Tonight's Board of County Commissioners meeting agenda looks most intriguing for one agenda item in particular: the inclusion of a 30 minute update from staff on the status of the Scarborough & Hargett funeral home, which is nearing the end of its lease extension on grounds slated to become part of the new Durham County justice center that's replacing the aging county courthouse on Main St.

S&H holds a special place in the heart of many Durhamites, an institution of Durham's black middle-class legacy and of the rise and urban renewal of Hayti.

It's also, make no mistake, a mover-and-shaker in the political realm here, too.

The rumor mill has long held that it wasn't pressure from all those filthy, nasty greenfield developers that led to intense interest on the part of elected officials over the development review process in the last year or so -- but rather, complaints from Scarborough & Hargett over what it encountered in trying to build its new home off Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway.

Now the funeral home stands in the way of the bulldozers needed to prep the justice center site. The BOCC extended the lease date from early summer to August 31 to give the funeral home more time, but there it still sits.

A June report from the Herald-Sun noted that an extension through October was possible in county manager Mike Ruffin's mind -- if S&H made significant process in the interim. Work's been halted at the UDI industrial park site that was to become the funeral home's new site last fall after what the home's owner described as bad soils and remains of an old dump were found.

Tune in tonight.

Comments

GreenLantern

No more extensions! They've had ample time to move to their new location, and have pulled excuses time and time again to extort more money and concessions from the county and city. It's not right that they get such special treatment at taxpayer expense. Now is the time to get this Justice Center built before labor, material, and financing costs start to rise as a result of economic recovery. If the funeral home wants more time, they should pay the difference between the financing cost of the courthouse if it were built today, and the cost if it were built as a result of yet another extension of time for the funeral home to be out of there.

SteveG

So let me see if I've go this right. UDI is involved in this, and it's not moving forward according to plan? No surprise there...

Natalie

uhm...WHY?

I attended a funeral there in this past January. Not only have they not moved, but they have done nothing to keep up the building. I was shocked that there were water stained ceiling tiles and pulled carpet in a funeral home that was still offering services to the community. They should be ashamed.

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