Springs Industrial Park progresses
A recent report by Justin Hall to the City of Holly Springs suggests that site readiness for an industrial park on the north side of I-22 is progressing.
Hall, executive director of the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority, said environmental research on the Springs Industrial Park land is near completion.
Work then will begin on extending utilities to the site.
Hall said IDA is trying to get a Burlington Northern Santa Fe certified site at the industrial park. If successful, it will be the first for BNSF in the state, he said.
IDA owns 82 acres that it is actively marketing, he said.
A visit to the North Mississippi Industrial Development Authority will likely produce some suggestions for marketing the new industrial park, he said.
Alderman Tim Liddy asked if the spec buildings in the Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park are pre-sold or whether “they have someone in their back pocket?”
Hall said sometimes developers have a “true bird in hand” and sometimes they don’t.
There are agents that list sites available for occupancy or for development, he said.
Take BNSF, for example. Hall said if they “brand you,” they open up their portfolio to their list of clients.
There are very few sites with a large footprint, he said, that have interstate access, are located near an airport, have utilities and are near a BNSF rail line.
“It’s a very competitive market right now,” Hall said. “Most of the time we compete with large cities like Dallas, Texas.
Completion of a final environmental study, including a sunflower survey, is needed before the Holly Springs site can be opened up for development. The Audubon Society is helping with the environmental surveys, he said.
The site has to be cleared with Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to assure no endangered species will be disturbed, he said.
In other business, Mayor Kelvin Buck notified the board that a Youth Activity Club – after-school program for boys and girls – is being organized under the Department of Parks and Recreation. The club will meet in Frazier II on the old Sims School campus. A membership fee is required.
Collecting past due bills
Steve Reed, assistant general manager for the Holly Springs Utility Department, turned in a list of past due utility bills to the board of aldermen.
Alderman Bernita Fountain asked if the utility would be reaching out to someone who owed 30 cents or a dollar.
Reed said most people don’t take that amount owed seriously. That is the reason HSUD may not be able to collect such a small amount owed.
New legislation allows HSUD to attach unpaid utility bills to a person’s state income tax return to help utilities collect bad debt, Reed said.
Buck explained that the past due utility bills would be turned over to the Mississippi Municipal League and the League turns the list over to the Mississippi Department of Revenue.
In other business the board approved travel for Tracy Reynolds, Jamario Beard, Don Buford and Lakisha Boga to attend the Mississippi Natural Gas Association Gas Operator Conference in Pearl.
Will Denton, director of public works, said construction on the Safe Routes To School project on Maury Street is about to begin.
He submitted a claim for $16,648 payable to Elliott and Britt Engineering for design work completed on Springs Industrial Park. The work will go with an ARC grant application.
The board also approved a request for Denton to attend the 2019 American Public Works Association State Conference, a nonprofit professional association of pubic works agencies, private companies and individuals dedicated to promoting professional excellence and public awareness through education, advocacy and exchange of knowledge.
Assistant fire chief Leland Reed discussed building permit fees. Code enforcers have to sign off on electrical work, fire safety and zoning regulations. He said half the fee helps pay for code inspections on new construction.
Buck said it is important that these fire code inspectors check work in progress, a requirement of the 2012 International Fire Code standards.
“How do you know it is inspected?” asked Liddy.
Zoning director Pam Lewis said a list of the plans are on site and each inspection is checked off before a certificate of occupancy is approved.
She said sets of plans are given to the fire department and HSUD will sign off and stamp its approval once the list is completed.
If there is a problem, a Knox Box is installed so the fire department can get into a facility if no one is there to let them in to work an emergency.
The board approved travel for Steven Cossey and Jordan Inman to attend firefighter certification at the state fire academy. The board also approved a 9/11 parade to take place at 9 a.m. downtown.
Aldermen approved travel for Sgt. Roderick Brown to attend National Incident Based Reporting Systems training in Missouri.