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A developer is interested in buying the former Industrial Supply Building, home to CrossFit 864 and the Clinton Little Devils tackle football headquarters on West Main Street in Clinton.

To facilitate the deal, Clinton City Council Monday night agreed to an appropriation of up to $15,000 to Wheeler & Wheeler for a new downtown Clinton Public Library. The city has until March 1 to declare to the owner of the building where the library is now its intentions to stay or go. The Clinton Library is part of the Laurens County Public Library.

The developer will hire the Garvin Design Group to draw up a conceptual plan for the property, the council was told.

The decision came about a two-hour closed-to-the-public, executive session called to discuss a “contract.” Information provided to the council was the developer is “interested in acquiring the property” and the $15,000 grant is “contingent on the consent of the property owners and the agreement by the property owners to reimburse the city either when the property is sold or the development commences.”

The city’s lease for the current public library is $1,450 per month. A public interest meeting two years ago produced a consensus that the current location -- in the Fred’s shopping center on the Jacobs Highway -- is too small for a modern-day public library.

The $15,000 will come from Clinton’s 2019 Economic Development Grant from Clinton-Newberry Natural Gas Authority. That’s the profits from CNNGA left over from operations and reserves, and given back to the owning public entities, the Cities of Newberry and Clinton (the utility has offices in both cities).

Also, the city is asking Gov. Henry McMaster to intervene with the S.C. Dept. of Transportation so Clinton can acquire the property on which is located the DOT maintenance “shed.” The city believes developers are ready to buy that site, once DOT moves its operations off the Hwy 72/I-26 property. The city controls 50 acres directly behind the “shed” and is in the process of acquiring an additional 300 acres on the eastern side of the property.

It is near two spec buildings built or being built by the City of Clinton for sale or lease to manufacturing industries.

The letter to McMaster is dated Jan. 29, 2019, and will be sent now following council approval at the Feb. 4 regular monthly meeting.