ROWLAND — The Board of Commissioners moved closer on Tuesday to taking legal action against the Family Inn property in town, which town officials say is in disrepair despite repeated promises from the owner to fix it up.
The Family Inn property has been in need of repairs since a fire, according to Town Clerk Blake Proctor. Proctor said the county had condemned the building, but the owner, Thakur Sabodh, of Fayetteville, was given an extension to demolish two of the motel buildings and make repairs to a restaurant.
The Rowland commissioners complained that Sabodh has not met with them to explain the lack of progress. He had been scheduled to appear before the board on Tuesday but sent word that he could not attend because of a family matter.
The commissioners have received complaints from residents about the appearance of the property, which is visible from Interstate 95, and safety.
“People down there doing business complain about it,” Commissioner Marvin Shooter said. “People on I-95 won’t stop when they see that mess down there and they don’t stop, they go on by.”
Proctor said that Sabodh has assured him that repairs to the restaurant building would begin on the Monday after Thanksgiving.
“He hasn’t met any of the deadlines in three years,” Shooter said. “I don’t need no more explanation. All he’s been furnishing us with is excuses.”
Sabodh presented the board with a time-line for the repairs, but Proctor said, “for all intents and purposes, he hasn’t met any of them.”
The board decided to attempt to contact Sabodh and ask him to present his plan to make the repairs to the restaurant and demolish the motel buildings at the board’s December meeting or the town will begin exploring legal options.
“We’re dragging our feet if we don’t pursue legal action if he doesn’t do what he’s been saying he’s going to do for three years,” Shooter said.
In other action on Tuesday, the board:
— Voted to reimburse a resident $70 for clearing a blockage in a sewer line.
— Awarded “Leading by Example” certificates to 11 South Robeson High School students: Krysten Cummings; Aliyah Dickens; Jackalyn Hunt; Bailey Williamson; Kimberly McCormick; Sierra Hunt; James Page; James Quick; John Lewis; Michael Smith; and Harrison Branch.
— Awarded a “Youth Initiative” certificate Jackalyn Hunt, James Page, David Singh, James Quick and Alexa Smith, all students at South Robeson.
— Awarded a “Community Service to the Rowland Chamber of Commerce” certificate to South Robeson High School students James Quick, Jackalyn Hunt and James Page.