FRANKFORD – A highly-visible and notable fixture in town of Frankford history could have a new lease on life.
Frankford council is weighing lease proposals with a couple potential tenants interested in renting the former town hall building at 5 Main Street.
“It’s still in the process. We’ve got a couple people interested,” said town councilman/treasurer Marty Presley.
Interested parties are Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project Inc. (SERCAP) and Russell Davenport, owner of other property within the town limits.
The former town hall building, owned by but no longer used by the town as a meeting place, once was a bank. The building dates back more than a century.
“We just need to decide which one we are going to rent it to,” said Mr. Presley.
Mr. Davenport addressed council at its March meeting with an offer to buy the former town hall property outright. His plan would be to transform the building into an ice cream/sweet shop, providing town residents something he says is desperately lacking in Frankford.
“I’m just trying to do something for these people in Frankford; give them a place to go get an ice cream cone, some milk, some bread,” Mr. Davenport said the March council meeting. “Right now, there ain’t no reason for them to come out of their house.”
Now Mr. Davenport is interested in a rental agreement. Mr. Presley said Mr. Davenport notified councilwoman Pamela Davis on March 28 that he was interested in renting the property.
The immediate future of the former town hall was a discussion topic at council’s April 4 meeting.
“He (Davenport) had told us up until a couple nights before the meeting that he wasn’t interested in renting it. He only wanted to buy it. The town really doesn’t want to sell the building right now,” Mr. Presley said. “So we’ve kept it open and enabled him to get an application in to be considered.”
Long-range plans for the property include possibly donating it to a worthy non-profit cause, such as the Frankford Volunteer Fire Company or the community-based Envision Frankford initiative.
“If they have a viable use for it then we would definitely consider that,” Mr. Presley said. “Our main intention is since the building is so old and historic we want to keep it pretty much as is and preserve it for the town. But that would certainly be one option to take a look at doing.”
Frankford council president Joanne Bacon has emphasized that the council has no intention of selling the historic Main Street property.
Town park parking lot paving
Town officials are anxiously awaiting the final green light from Delaware’s Department of Transportation for the paving of the parking lot at Frankford Community Park.
The on-again, off-again project apparently has cleared all hurdles and funding is in place.
“Supposedly everything has gone through. We’re just waiting for DelDOT to send us the money basically, or approve us to go ahead and get the work done,” said Mr. Presley. “As soon they give us the go-ahead we can go ahead and get it done. Hopefully, that will be in the next three or four weeks.”
Money for the approximate $40,000 paving project is being provided by State Rep. Rich Collins, R-Millsboro, and State Sen. Gerald Hocker, R-Ocean View, through their Community Transportation Funds.
“I think the final number was $40,000,” said M. Presley.
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