Members of Pulaski County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) were taken on a stroll through the Dalton building Thursday to see the architectural gems that lay hidden behind paneled walls drop ceilings and decaying carpet inside the vacant building.
Pulaski County Community Development Director Shawn Utt, who will soon be Pulaski’s town manager, said the tour pertained to town efforts to receive state Industrial Revitalization Funds to help save the historic building. The Dalton, which originally showcased the Dalton Theatre, is on Washington Avenue, across from Pulaski Post Office.
Pulaski Economic Development Director John White said an application for Industrial Revitalization Funds, which require a local match, was submitted to the Commonwealth in late September “in cooperation with the county and a potential developer.”
He added, “The title of the application is ‘Dalton Building Anchor Project,’ harkening back to the (David) Gall Report that indicated the Dalton building’s revitalization could be an important anchor of improving the economic potential of First Street and the county seat as a whole.”
Utt said the county’s IDA may partner in the project, but no decision has been made. He noted there is no obligation to accept the state funds even if the application is approved.
Thursday’s tour was followed by an executive session, or closed meeting, of the IDA in which prospective industry was on the agenda. Utt said no action was taken on the Dalton project or any other matters.
In 2011, the town applied for Industrial Revitalization Funds to help rehabilitate the Dalton, but the application didn’t get approved.
White said the funds are intended for projects that have a regional impact, “thus our desire to cooperate with the county and its IDA. Should we be fortunate enough to receive funds, at that point the building’s owner, Harry Leeper, will convey the building to the IDA, which will hold it through the period of revitalization. There will be no cost to the county.” He said they will play a ‘pass through’ role, which is “one of the reasons such authorities exist.”
If the project gets funded, White said the potential developer would provide the required matching funds. Since the Dalton is on the National Historic Register, it will be eligible for tax credits. It also is in Pulaski’s Enterprise Zone, so White added, “we are certain the developer will wish to take advantage of incentives that make historical preservation more attractive than in the past when the town lost the iconic Maple Shade Inn.”
In 2011, White said the tax value of the building was around $143,000.It was built in 1921.