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Did the county building at 320 Chestnut St. have insurance when a pipe burst?

Cassie Foss

The New Hanover County Administrative offices are at 320 Chestnut Street. PHOTO BY PAUL STEPHEN / WILMINGTON STAR NEWS

Q. Did the county owned building at 320 Chestnut St. have insurance at the time a pipe burst and flooded the building, and if so what did the county do with the insurance claim proceeds?

A. An N.C. Association of County Commissioners insurance policy covered damage caused by a water leak two years ago at the New Hanover County owned building at 320 Chestnut St., deputy county attorney Kemp Burpeau said.

The county received a $50,000 deductable and $144,887.98 from an insurance claim after water pipes burst and flooded several floors April 14, 2010, Burpeau said.

The question of what to do about the building the remains unanswered after county commissioners voted in late July to hold a work session to discuss the topic.

At that meeting, commissioners reviewed four proposals from private developers who want to buy the downtown Wilmington building, renovate it and lease it back to the county or buy it and use it for affordable housing. After a short presentation, they decided to table the decision on how to proceed.

The board has already voted to spend up to $10 million to renovate the building and use it for county offices, such as the Public Defender and Drug Treatment Court. At issue is how to spend the money.

The six-story, 1950s-era building has been vacant since the incident.


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