Thursday, April 19, 2012
Commission wants assessment on MI campus structure
By SUE WATSON
The Holly Springs Historic Preservation Commission has asked for an assessment of Catherine Hall’s structural stability while it waits to give permission to demolish the structure on the Mississippi Industrial College campus.
The old campus is the property of Rust College.
Tim Liddy, with the Preservation Commission, told the mayor and board of aldermen the Mississippi Landmark should be saved if possible.
“I want to know if there is a plan B,” he said, as opposed to tearing the building down.
Demolition has already begun but a hold was placed on the work while the Preservation Commission and the city take a second look to see if there is any merit to saving the structure or part of it.
Liddy said the commission has postponed signing off on the request to demolish the building until the commission meets the first Tuesday in May.
Mayor Andre’ DeBerry said the state Department of Archives and History would have required documentation and approved demolition but the local commission does not want to demolish it.
A structural determination could be made for several thousand dollars, the mayor said.
Also taken up at the meeting was the naming of a new private road accessing Tara Oaks Subdivision in North Holly Springs.
A controversy over the ingress and egress to the subdivision lasted for about 10 years while developers asked the city to waive curb and gutter requirement in the city’s portion of the new road. Developers had said putting in curbs and gutters and sidewalks would take away any profit they could make by selling more lots. Access to the subdivision for a long time was through a private driveway, but homeowners protested that the subdivision should be provided its own access.
Later developers built a road to access the subdivision where eight homes have already been built and are located in the county, but the new road is not constructed to city standards.
Supervisor Charles Terry met with the board of aldermen saying the private road needs to be named for 911 emergency purposes such as police, fire and ambulance maps. He said a suggested name would be Tara Oaks Drive.
Homeowners, whose private drive was being used, have now closed off their driveways to through traffic with a gate.
DeBerry said the solution would be for a private road to be accessed off Highway 7 North. The county does not require curbs and gutters and sidewalks. He added he did not think putting curbs and gutters on the private road, built by the developer, would be an undue hardship.
Zoning administrator Felicia Autry said the addresses at the present private drive would remain Tara Road. The suggested name of the new road located in the city is Tara Oaks Drive, she said.
The mayor demurred, saying the city has had to backtrack in many subdivisions and put in curbs and gutters to stop flooding and to pay for work that developers are now required to do.
“We can’t subsidize your development by paving your street, etc.,” he said.
Alderman Garrie Colhoun reminded the board that the city did allow the private drive to the subdivision to be built but developers were told they would not be allowed to sell house lots along the private drive without first upgrading it to city standards.
Developers would have to put in curbs, gutters, sewer, water and sidewalks, he said.
“We are having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to correct streets, drains and sewers,” DeBerry added.
Alderman Russell Johnson opined that the private road was constructed without checking with the city engineer or public works director about standards.
“We are not asking you to take the road as is,” said Terry, “but that the city and county come to a resolution that they would sign off on that would be a collaborative effort in terms of giving the road a name.”
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