Thursday, September 2, 2010
Rust seeks partners in restoration
By SUE WATSON
Rust College has asked the Marshall County Board of Supervisors for help in seeking a grant of $800,000 to begin assessment and work on the restoration of its five historic buildings located on the former Mississippi Industrial College campus.
The property was given to Rust College a year or so ago for management and redevelopment.
Clencie Cotton, with Rust College Community Development Corporation, asked the board for a letter of support and a commitment of some money – up to $10,000 over three years was suggested – to help with its grant application.
The historic college campus is considered a key resource of the city by Holly Springs Main Street planners.
The MI College property is listed on the 10 most endangered treasures of the state, Cotton said.
“The Northeast Mississippi MI College Preservation Association wants to use the museum and five-building complex as a cultural area and museum,” he said.
Rust College will apply for $393,000 for an assessment of the conditions of the architecture and would like to restore Carnegie Auditorium which Cotton said seats 2,000 and with raised seating could seat 6,000.
He said use of the auditorium as a regional performance center for the arts “would be a tremendous opportunity.”
Rust College has offered to provide a site on the property to the county to build an office complex, including space for a new WIN Job Center. Cotton said he would like the architectural assessment to include the design of a prospective office building for the county. The college would offer the use of the land at no cost, he said.
All buildings on the campus are two and a half stories, he said.
The assessment has to be done before potential investments in the properties can be made, Cotton said.
The board said it would consider drafting a letter of support.
In other business, citizens in subdivisions continue to seek relief from property owners who violate covenants from the zoning board, said Conway Moore. However, attorney Kent Smith said the county should not get involved in civil matters of this nature unless a state or county statute is being violated. Citizens should seek relief in civil court, he said.
Moore said the county has gotten good reports on how it handles the placement of mobile homes from State Fire Marshal officials at a recent seminar she attended.
“They said Marshall County is doing what we should do on trailers,” she said. “If we have any problems, they offered to come look and give their opinion. The marshal said Marshall County is doing one of the best jobs in the state in putting trailers in.”
Moore reported on several lot cleanup orders. The bid to clean up one lot on Rayford Road would cost as much or more than the property was worth. Supervisors motioned to rebid the cleanup or to have the county clean it up and assess the costs as a lien to the owner's property tax. Two other lots were advertised for cleanup as well.
Supervisor Keith Taylor said homeowners living near the planned I-69 corridor are expressing concern about their neighbors asking for property to be rezoned industrial or commercial to take advantage of possible development when the highway is built. He expressed concern about spot zoning in the area as individuals try to line up work on the construction of I-69.
“There are still going to be people living there whose homes will be disrupted enough by the road,” Taylor said. “I do not want their lives disrupted by industrial and commercial development, as well. People are wanting to rezone to get ahead of the game for business locations. I do not want people to sell land for something else and the road (I-69) not be built for years.”
Moore added that sometimes land taxes go up next to properties rezoned for industrial or commercial development due to the potential use.
Bill Mobley, executive director of the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority, said land zoned industrial in the Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park does not see an increase in tax until something is built on the land.
Moore said once a subdivision is platted, tax on the subdivision lands go up.
Tax assessor Juanita Dillard confirmed that property for subdivisions usually sees an increase in the land value after plats are filed.
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