The site of the former 7-Eleven convenience store at the north end of downtown Sonora will be the focus of a public hearing Tuesday evening.
The Sonora City Council wants comments on using redevelopment funds to pay for remodeling the building at Rother€™s Corner to make it a city centerpiece. City Administrator Greg Applegate said the city acquired the property when the convenience store moved out. Since then it has been considered a blighted building, vacant and boarded up.
The building was recently named Rother€™s Corner after the late William Rother who purchased the property in 1870.
During the last year a committee has been meeting to plan for the future of the building, which will include housing a fire museum.
“You€™d think in these budgetary times, what€™s neat about this is we will be moving our Senior Lounge to the historic Fire Museum and they are going to be opening and closing and they€™re all volunteers,” Applegate explained.
“Literally, there´s not much overhead in what we´re doing.”
Applegate says the money for the project is coming out of the city€™s redevelopment agency and was identified as a project to clean up a blighted area within the downtown.
The building will not be torn down, but will be converted into a vintage-looking structure that will replicate the historic Sonora fire company and try to integrate some firehouse features, Applegate said, including the old bell tower.
Additional landscaping will also be done at the corner as well as the addition of public restrooms and a visitor information center.
The Counsel will be taking on bids for the project. Applegate says once the bid for construction is awarded, the work should get underway about 30 days later.
Estimated cost for the project is $200,000.
The city council meets starting at 5 p.m. tomorrow evening at City Hall, 94 North Washington Street.