By Katherine R. Dougan
A defunct Highway 80 business location is getting a facelift and a new business tenant after unanimous approval by the Board of Alderman at the April 6 meeting.
Hoa T Nguyen owns the building at 316 Highway 80, the old Payless Shoe Source location, and the Board approved Nguyen’s plans for renovation and updates to the building. T-Mobile plans to move into the space once the exterior renovations are complete.
Plans include replacing the siding with brick and painting and updating the structure.
“The building is a little older, and we just want to update it,” Vivian Nguyen, who owns the building along with her husband, Bobby, explained to the Board. “We want to get it going and looking nicer for the city, because we love our city of Clinton.”
Nguyen explained that, after they get the brick on the building, T-Mobile will rent the facility and start renovations on the inside of the building.
“They [T-Mobile] should be submitting their plan to the City soon.”
In other business, repair of a large drainage pipe located on railroad property that is adjacent to the Hillman Commons construction site in Olde Towne resulted in discussion and requests for clarification from Ward 2 Alderman Jim Martin. Director of Public Works Philip Lilley explained to the Board that the City doesn’t have the capacity to handle repair of the large pipe and needs the work done by an outside contractor.
Century Construction, who is doing work at the Hillman Commons site, informed the City that the City’s drainage pipe is pointed towards the Hillman Commons site. Lilley explained that, since the City installed the pipe, the City is responsible for fixing the drainage problem.
“A massive sinkhole and erosion is occurring in this location,” Lilley said.
He solicited bids for the pipe repair, and Parker Construction Company came in with the low bid at $8,380.
“We’re trying to get it all fixed while we have development there.”
The pipe is located under the bridge of the Parkway, near the container the Hillman Commons project is using for their office, Lilley and Consulting City Engineer Bill Owen explained to the Board.
Although the City cannot usually work on private property, it is allowed when there is a danger to City property, if the problem is not fixed, Lilley and Owen explained.
“It looks to me like what we’re doing is making an expenditure to repair a sewer line on private property, and using taxpayer funds for an apartment complex – when we won’t do this for our citizens,” said Martin. “I’ve got a problem with us doing this on private property.”
“Just to be clear, is it on the property of Hillman Commons?” Mayor Phil Fisher asked.
“No,” Owen responded, adding: “This has nothing to do with an apartment complex. It has to do with a pipe that’s draining from the City’s curb ending on East Leake Street to the railroad [property].”
Although on the railroad’s private property, the City’s pipe is draining from the streets onto the property. Since this draining is causing a sinkhole and erosion, which affects the integrity of the pylons supporting the Parkway, Lilley says it needs to be repaired. The only role Hillman Commons had in the process was to bring the drainage problem to the attention of the City, said Lilley.
“Our fear is that it will eventually become a Parkway bridge issue,” Lilley said.
The Board voted 6-1, with Martin the dissenting vote, to approve the pipe repairs.
A public improvement project approved years ago by the City of Clinton for the construction of Hampstead Boulevard has entered Phase II of the project, City Attorney Will Purdie explained to the Board, noting that it is a Mississippi Department of Transportation project.
“Now that the project has been completed, the City’s portion of the cost should be assessed against the cost of the benefitted landowners,” Purdie said. The next step is for the Board to establish a cost and hold a public hearing. “The final cost of the project was $681,396.13.”
The Board unanimously approved the resolution, and Purdie will run the advertisement for three consecutive weeks, with the public hearing to be held May 4. This gives any interested parties time to object to the assessment role, Purdie said. The Hederman family are the sole owners of the property.
In other business, the Board received an update from Shandra Broomfield regarding activities at Wood Activity Center, approved a resolution for a thirteenth check to retirees of the City of Clinton Fire and Police Disability Relief Fund for 2021, approved the lowest and best bid for Robinson Park Improvements to Wildstone Construction Services, LLC, in the amount of $336,043.00, and awarded the bid for the Clinton Public School District Multi-Use Path to Thornton Construction in the amount of $116,058.50.
The next meeting of the Board of Aldermen and the Mayor will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20, at the Municipal Courtroom, 305 Monroe Street.