City seeks loan extension
Published 9:56 am Tuesday, January 26, 2016
City officials want the Mississippi Development Authority to extend a $1.31 million loan for the Wisconsin connector road by an additional eight months.
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday approved a resolution asking MDA to extend the loan past its April expiration through December.
The city borrowed the money in May 2014 to build a connector road from North Frontage Road near River Hills Bank to Wisconsin Avenue, but right of way negotiations with the bank over repairs to potential damage to its parking lot delayed the project by preventing the city from getting a permit from the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
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The city and the bank reached an agreement in November where the city will pay the bank an estimated $68,215.37 to repair the damage to the bank’s parking lot and entrance caused by the construction. City Attorney Nancy Thomas said Monday MDOT has issued the city’s permit.
“So now we can start moving some dirt,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said.
Thomas said the city would soon be able to go out for bids on the project.
The road will go from North Frontage Road east to Wisconsin Avenue across part of the old Battlefield Mall property, which is now owned by JEBCO LLC, the parent company for Blackburn Motors.
The 22-acre JEBCO property encompasses the area that included the former mall. About three acres of the property along North Frontage Road west of River Hills Bank was bought in October by Bossier City, La.-based 3 Rednecks LLC, the lead ownership interest in Excel Honda, to relocate the dealership. The property was later acquired by Cannon motors, which bought the Honda dealership and plans to relocate the Honda dealership and Cannon Toyota on East Clay Street on the property.
The connecting road will run between the bank and the Cannon property.
A decision by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission in November 2013 approved rezoning the 22-acre tract along North Frontage owned by JEBCO LLC from C-4 commercial to planned use development, opening the way for the road. A planned use development, or PUD, designation allows light industrial operations, and cleared the way for the city to apply for the MDA loan.
Plans for the road are in anticipation of a possible move by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineering Research and Development Center of the front of its facility from Halls Ferry Road.
to Wisconsin to reduce traffic on Halls Ferry Road. The new road would also open new property for development.