A building beyond repair

Clinton City Council voted unanimously Feb 4 to return a $100,000 state grant that was to be used to stabilize parts of the city-owned DE Tribble complex on Gary Street, after structural engineers said portions of the 3-building complex can’t be saved.

The city received the state grant – with a $10,000 local match -- in 2017. The money was to be used to stabilize portions of the buildings. 

Arrowood & Arrowood, consulting engineers in Greenville, were asked to conduct a structural review of the property. The engineers visited the D.E. Tribble complex on Jan. 15 and submitted a report on Jan. 29.

The report dealt with the condition of Building #3, the newest of the three buildings that is located closest to South Broad Street.

“As we understand, possible future uses of the building may be business, such as office space, retail and restaurant,” the report said. “In summary, the overall condition of the structure is near total failure.

“Any renovation will require a new roof and roof structure, replace of 30-50% of the concrete floor slab, and substantial repairs to the masonry walls and foundations. As such, we do not recommend a renovation of this structure.”

The building was found to have major structural deficiencies – truss and roof failure, widespread wall cracking, slab failure and foundation settlement. Portions of the roof lumber and decking are unrepairable due to rot caused by water damage.

The concrete slab is a “major failure,” the report said. “A sinkhole has developed and the subgrade no longer exists.”

The city’s sewer division conducted a smoke test on the sewer line the morning after the council meeting. City Manager Bill Ed Cannon said the testing determined the sanitary sewer system is operating properly, meaning that is not the cause of the sinkhole.

During the Feb. 4 meeting, Cannon said the city had to notify the state by Friday, Feb. 8 if the city intended to proceed with the project.

“My recommendation is that we decline the grant,” Cannon told council. “The building’s too far gone. It’s very unsafe the shape it’s in.”

Council agree unanimously.

During a portion of the meeting set aside for council members’ comments (and following an executive session of almost two hours), two council members – Shirley Jenkins and Jimmy Young – asked Cannon if any repairs have been done to the city’s police and fire headquarters building on North Broad Street.

The current city budget had set aside money for repairs. “That’s another thing we need to be moving on,” Young said.

In response, Cannon said council will have to decide how to proceed on utilizing the building.

He said part of the building – he did not specify which part – needs to be demolished and replaced with a new building on the adjacent site where the Clinton Public Library was before being torn down because of structural issues.

Cannon said the city would have to “float bonds” to finance that demolition and construction. 

Council did not discuss the city manager’s recommendation.

Jenkins and Mayor Bob McLean, both running for re-election March 5, said that have had campaign signs stolen. Jenkins’ said some of her signs were replaced with the signs of other candidates running for her seat. “I will not move anyone’s signs,” she said. “I ask for the same courtesy.”

McLean said he has had 20 signs taken, including one from his own yard.


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