Thursday, December 25, 2008
Businessman turns in grocery/beer license to board of supervisors
By SUE WATSON
The owner and operator of Eastside Grocery on Higdon Road unexpectedly appeared before the board of supervisors last week to personally surrender his privilege licenses with the county and state.
Rickie Washington, whose business was the subject of neighborhood complaints the last several months, said he has given up on trying to make a go of Eastside Grocery.
The establishment was recently visited by law enforcement and zoning officials, according to zoning director Conway Moore. On the visit, Moore said they found drinking on the premises and individuals playing pool and watching big-screen television with meat loaf and chitterlings cooking in the back.
“The proprietor said he is moving to Holly Springs,” Moore said.
She said possible violations of county ordinances including cooking without a license and drinking on the premises.
The store has not been stocked as a grocery and has been closed most of the time, Moore reported to the board several weeks ago after neighbors in the area complained about loud music late into the evenings on weekends at the store or behind it.
On this visit, there was no loud music, Moore said. Patrons were adults, not youth.
“He’s running a little club, not a grocery,” Moore said. “We could send him a letter we are taking him to court to close him down.”
About 30 minutes after the board voted to send Washington a letter outlining alleged violations and stating proceedings would be taken to court, Washington arrived unexpectedly in the board room and surprised supervisors by handing over his operating licenses and saying he is moving on.
Moore reported cleanup activity at a property at Barton Heights and advised supervisors that zoning is dropping clean-up orders on the owner of this home.
Supervisor George Zinn III discussed a proposal submitted by someone in his district to the Marshall County Fairgrounds board. He said the fairgrounds could enjoy wider use and bring in more revenue by agreeing to let a group set up a horse race track behind the fairgrounds facilities. The interested party had been turned down by the fairgrounds board of directors, he said.
“In today’s time when everything (business) is so tight and we’re looking for revenue, I think they should have given them (the race-track group) some consideration,” he said.
Shaking his head, no, supervisor Eddie Dixon said he did not think the board of supervisors should tell the fairground board how to run the facility.
“They have a board that runs the fairgrounds,” he said.
The board discussed a bill for professional services, saying a discrepancy in the agreed upon fees was holding up the submission of the final draft of the Marshall County Solid Waste Plan which has been past due at the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
Board attorney Kent Smith agreed to consult the solid waste authority’s attorney to see how to resolve the matter.
County administrator Larry Hall reported the Mississippi Association of Supervisors is asking counties to be included in the federal stimulus package to revitalize infrastructure. The package is expected to be taken up by Congress during President-elect Barack Obama’s administration.
“They want a list of ready-to-go projects,” Hall said, suggesting that the completion of the Holly Springs bypass overlay would be a prime item along with overlay of county roads under the State Aid program.
The Marshall County board of Supervisors adjourned until January 5, 2009, at 9 a.m.
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