by William Holloman
The deed to the former Mount Olive Armory will be turned back over to the Town during a brief ceremony set for Apr. 24 at the armory.
The deed transfer has been about a year in the making since state authorities announced a reorganization of the National Guard that called for shutting down the local facility. It will be a big game changer in the town’s plans for a new fire department.
The 5.3 acre site adjoins property of the Mount Olive Pickle Company. While town officials will not discuss whether the pickle company is interested in the armory property, they do say it is an option that is on the table along with a number of others
Town manager Charles Brown did tell the Tribune having the title to the property “in hand” will allow the town to move forward with the fire department issue and look at options. Finding land for a new fire department is among the top priorities for the town. “Now,” he said, “We don’t have to talk in speculative terms. We can talk now in real terms. It puts us in a better position now that we will have something in our hand.”
“I think it still is going to require a substantial amount of study. It is not going to happen overnight. It is simply another factor in what we have got ahead of us,” Brown said. he also noted there were a wide variety of uses the facility could fill. “It has tremendous potential and is in a great location.”