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.