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Hardware store coming to Middlesex

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MIDDLESEX — A hardware store soon coming to town will be the first newly constructed business in more than a decade.

Mayor Lu Harvey Lewis announced Monday night that Premiere Propane and Hardware passed zoning and is waiting for its permits. The store is set for West Finch Avenue, across from the Pit Stop gas station.

“It’s a new venture, not part of a chain,” Lewis said.

Contacted after the town board meeting, Premiere co-owner Zack Stallings said he hopes to have the store built and stocked by the first of the year.

Stallings said he’s a lifelong resident of Middlesex and understands how important new construction is to the town.

The store will be the first new construction since Dollar General located in town in 2008, Lewis said.

“It’s been 11 years since we’ve had new business construction,” Lewis said. “We’re looking forward to that.”

The store could be open as soon as December, but more than likely January, Lewis said.

“I think they will go to work really hard on it, but you never know with winter. There could be snow,” Lewis said.

The new hardware store joins Lane and Associates, a major dentist office chain, in looking at Middlesex as a home.

The town board is scheduled for a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14 to hear comments on the town leasing a 11180 E. Finch Ave. building to Lane, which has offices in Raleigh and Cary.

The town applied for a state rural economic development building reuse grant to improve the building. The award results will be announced Oct. 17.

“The lease payment will be between $95,000 and $125,000 per year depending on the grant amount,” according to a public notice issued by Town Clerk Gloria Vinson.

Middlesex wants to grow and new residents will want amenities like a convenient hardware store and nearby dentist office, Lewis said.

In other business at the meeting, the board accepted the resignation of Cathy Callahan, a part-time police officer who said she has too many other commitments.

Police Chief Mike Collins said Callahan was leaving on good terms and would be missed.

The board voted to promote Officer Gerod Farmer from part-time to full-time with an annual salary of $32,000.

“He’s very dependable,” Collins said. “We’re glad to have him full time now.”

During time reserved for public comment, resident Edna Mount asked the board to require the town’s police officers to wear name tags.