Weldon town commissioners Monday night approved the rezoning of land around the former Super Sturdy building.
The rezoning was one of the local hurdles in paving the way for a distillery for the building.
No objections were raised during a public hearing on the matter before the board Monday. A couple of people did ask general questions and the board later during its work session unanimously approved the rezoning, Mayor Julia Meacham confirmed today.
Code enforcement officer Richard Brown told the board the property needed to be rezoned from neighborhood business to industrial.
He told the board the building was constructed in the early 50s and was in an industrial zone for many years. “I have no idea why the zoning was changed.”
To facilitate the distillery plans, however, the rezoning had to be changed back to industrial.
“It’s a good way to start 2019,” Meacham said.
The payment from the partners buying the building has already been deposited, the mayor said.
During the time Bruce Tyler was considering buying the building for the project, Meacham said, “He’s been here off and on during the spring. To me, the property has been vacant for many years because not everyone needs that square footage. With him coming in we hope it will serve as a catalyst to bring more businesses into Weldon.”
She said between the plans for distillery as well as the partners making use of the River Mill across the way from the Super Sturdy building and continued talks of an Amtrak station, “That’s spurring a lot of energy.”
Meacham said she and others plan a trip to Washington, D.C., in February to seek support from Senator Thom Tillis and Congressman G.K. Butterfield on the Amtrak plans.
Tyler could not immediately be reached for comment this afternoon but has said in previous interviews he and his partner Michael Hinderliter plan to have a presence at the River Mill at River Falls Park by Rockfish season.
The mill will serve as the retail part of the distillery and will also be used to promote rockfish preservation efforts.