Thursday, May 10, 2012
City plan nears final draft
By SUE WATSON
A new 20-year comprehensive plan for the City of Holly Springs should be ready for presentation to the mayor and board of aldermen and the public in June, according to consulting planner Bob Barber.
He recently updated the board on the plan and said much of the project is complete or about to be ready. A public meeting is scheduled May 24 to be used for an overall presentation and for public comment, he said.
Whether the city experiences population growth or decline depends a lot on how it addresses changes that would make the city attractive for newcomers, he said. Economics, historic preservation and the livability conditions of the city will weigh in on how the city meets its goals and whether it implements its plan.
The plan will be implemented by both initiatives the city takes and by new regulations it writes into law that become the foundation for the plan.
A recent asset mapping of the city by the asset mapping team of the Mississippi Development Authority and other agencies was a part of the new plan, he said. Other work associated with the comprehensive plan will be ordinances that regulate where churches may be established, the locations where adult entertainment are allowed and so forth, Barber said.
Barber said he expects to have the final document before the second board meeting in June.
“It has to be implemented in order to make progress,” said Barber, adding that he hopes some of the steps to implement changes in the plan will be within the next five years.
In other business, the bids for the extension of a six-inch gas main from the industrial park area to supply the Rogers Group asphalt mix plant at Heritage Drive were opened. The bid of T.J. Construction Inc. from Alabama to do the work for $295,178.35 was accepted as low bid. It came 29 percent above engineering estimates. All bidders said their bids were high because of the short, one-month time set to complete the work, said Don Hollingsworth, general manager of the Holly Springs Utility Department. Revell Construction Company Inc. of Union City, Tenn., bid $371,072.09 and Tri State Utility Contractors of Senatobia bid $555,023.57.
The city fast-tracked the bid in order to provide an alternative and cheaper source of energy for Rogers Group, which has the contract to resurface 16 miles of Highway 78 with asphalt. The plant is currently operating on diesel, according to public works director Micheal Crittle.
The city benefits from the income it will generate from the sale of natural gas and the project will pay for itself through those revenues; and, at the same time, the pressure over the system will be improved, Hollingsworth said. In the end a ready source of natural gas for new business growth on the south side of the interstate will also be a boost to the city’s opportunities for economic growth, he said.
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