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A lot on South Main Street in Catawba was used for civil war re-enactments, Boy Scout displays, town festivals and green-space preservation.
Those uses will stop, however, because the property was sold Tuesday to a private buyer after Catawba Town Councilâ€™s controversial decision Monday not to purchase the property.
â€śPeopleâ€™s ideas of whatâ€™s best for the town are different,â€ť said Catawba Mayor Vance Readling at the councilâ€™s Monday meeting. â€śOpinions vary â€¦ Some of them felt if you had a purpose for (the land), it would be better for it.â€ť
The lotâ€™s owner placed the property for sale, giving Council the opportunity to buy the land for $180,000 with zero percent interest for four years.
Council members voted against the property purchase by a vote of 3-2 at the townâ€™s July 12 meeting.
â€ś(The purchase) has already been voted on, and for the decision to change, peopleâ€™s opinions have to change,â€ť Readling told residents attending Monday nightâ€™s meeting.
Citizens concerned by the councilâ€™s decision against purchasing the property addressed council members during a public hearing Monday night. Several citizens spoke in favor of the town purchasing the property, citing the lotâ€™s importance in town heritage, community involvement and camaraderie. No one spoke in favor of allowing another buyer to purchase the property.
â€śThe residents of Catawba vote you guys into office to represent our best interests,â€ť said Catawba resident Ryan Kormanik. â€śThe vote should be based on the best interest of the town.â€ť
Rumors circulated throughout Catawba that the property, once purchased, will be used for a convenience store and gas station.
The propertyâ€™s use remains unknown.