Thursday, August 23, 2012
City adopts new plan
By SUE WATSON
The Holly Springs Board of Aldermen adopted the 2012-2032 Master Plan for the city, after an overview presented by consultant Bob Barber.
The 20-year plan will be “tweaked” for several months as flaws and typographical errors are uncovered.
In launching his presentation, Barber said this plan will take the city to a higher level than the 1997 Comprehensive Plan. It incorporates many of the ideas and suggestions of citizens, suggestions from the Holly Springs Main Street Charrettes, the Historic Preservation Commission, Tourism and the Planning Commission.
“The plan should make Holly Springs an excellent city over time,” said Barber.
The key features of the plan include – data base updates, growth projections, new maps, Main Street recommendations and downtown development
Some details addressed in the plan include design standards, land use standards, identified redevelopment areas, redevelopment policies, preservation standards, a stream-lined development code, a remap of ideal land use, sign code updates, and precise land use language, Barber said.
He believes the new plan will support Brownfields assessments, greenway systems and a complete streets program.
“This is an ambitious project – far more involved than what we did years ago,” Barber said. “That’s good.”
Mayor Andre’ DeBerry applauded Barber for making the plan inclusive of the community by holding numerous focus groups to see what the community wanted.
“It was, in fact, inclusive, and I want to commend you,” he told Barber.
“The meetings were very enjoyable and people wanted to pull in the same direction,” Barber said. “Once you adopt the plan, don’t lay it on the table. Use it.”
After questions about industrial zoning at Eddie Lee Smith Drive and at the industrial zones on the south side, alderman Harvey Payne motioned to adopt the plan pending any changes needed in the next three months.
The plan was unanimously voted in with alderman Garrie Colhoun the only board member absent.
DeBerry immediately urged the board to follow the comprehensive plan with an economic development plan that mirrors the new master plan.
“That is a recommendation,” said Barber.
In sewage water treatment matters, DeBerry advised the board that consultant Worth Thomas will seek funding for a sewer water treatment facility. The city’s lagoon is close to its handling capacity of one million gallons a day, he said. The city would seek legislation for bonds to build a two-million-gallon a day facility, DeBerry said.
Next, the mayor asked for a resolution to apply to the Mississippi Development Authority for a Home Rehabilitation grant. He followed with a request to advertise for both the filing of the application of home rehab grant proposal and for administration of the project, if it is awarded. The board unanimously approved motions for the resolution and for advertising.
The board also approved a motion, proffered by alderman Russell Johnson and seconded by Payne, to submit a resolution in objection to the Mississippi Legislators Redistricting Plan, now in the hands of the United States Department of Justice. The board voted unanimously to send a resolution objecting to the state’s redistricting plan.
If the Legislative Redistricting Plan is approved as is by the DOJ, Marshall County’s Senate District 2 would be split and Sen. Bill Stone would not be able to run to represent Marshall County, but instead would have to run in Tippah, Benton and Pontotoc counties. Marshall, Benton and Tippah counties’ voice in the Senate would be diluted.
In budget planning matters, the board of aldermen and mayor will be in budget planning sessions for the month of August and September. September 13 at 5:30 p.m. has been set as the time for the public hearing on the fiscal year 2012-2013 budget.
Next up was Lois Shipp, curator of the Marshall County Historical Museum. She asked the mayor about planning for the 175th anniversary of the founding of the town and said November 28, 29 and 30 would be good days as well as a date in December.
DeBerry asked Shipp to join in with the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum and the Main Street Chamber to plan for the activities.
Shipp urged that planning be expedited and a brochure be available to pass out to tourists during the Hummingbird Migration Celebration the first week in September. She also suggested a movie be made and shown at the multi-purpose building.
Afterward, Andy McMillon passed on information that a grant writing expert in Washington, D.C., is available to come and help write grants for the city. The grants would be local project action grants, he said, all written without charge. Engineer Larry Britt would bring the writers to the city, he said.
“They are tired of ‘the haves’ like Oxford, getting everything and “the have nots” (like Holly Springs) not getting grants,” McMillon said.
“Why designate Larry?” DeBerry asked.
“Because he has worked with the county and the city,” McMillon said.
“We have always done our own and we have the capacity to do it,” said Don Hollingsworth, general manager of the Holly Springs Utility Department.
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