By REID TUCKER
The Paxton Town Council got another update about the forthcoming arrival of a Dollar General retail location within the city limits, and, so far, everything looks to be progressing smoothly.
Walton County Economic Development Alliance Director Scarlett Phaneuf and Paxton City Attorney Lori Bytell informed the Council that Teramore, Inc., land developer and facilitator of the city’s deal with Dollar General, has received and approved the revised version of the contract resulting from last month’s meeting. The updated terms of the contract include provisions aimed at securing Dollar General’s 15-year lease on the property. The details of the original contract were changed so that the city would sell the property to Teramore for $4,000 rather than donating it outright and, secondly, the city removed language that would hold Teramore liable should Dollar General be closed for business for a period of 60-120 days.
Phaneuf said this revised contract will be presented by Teramore for Dollar General’s approval at a meeting between the two companies on Aug. 22. After that happens, all that will remain to be done before construction can begin are environmental studies and traffic impact studies carried out by the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation, respectively.
A property owner with land facing the proposed store location asked whether the Dollar General store would be held to certain aesthetic standards so as not to create an eyesore, to which Bytell replied that Paxton, as an incorporated municipality, is subject to the same land development codes as the rest of Walton County.
The Council also got an update about resident Dave Palmer’s soon-to-open farmers’ market and sandwich shop. Palmer, who was not in attendance at the meeting, sent word that he’d secured commitments from two local famers – one organic and one traditional – to supply produce at the market. The farmers’ market, which is located directly across U.S. 331 from Town Hall, should be open within the month, pending the results of a Health Department inspection.
By way of resolving old business, the Council voted 5-0 approved for first reading and advertisement for adoption an ordinance prohibiting sex offenders and convicted sexual predators from entering city parks, including the Dixie Youth League baseball complex, under penalty of a second-degree misdemeanor. The ordinance’s language, finalized at last month’s meeting, is based on that approved by the State Attorney General, with the definitions contained in the ordinance being taken directly from Florida state statutes so as not to discriminate against any one individual.
Finally, Mayor Hayward Thomas got approval from the Council to purchase a used ground penetrating radar system for use by the city’s water and sewer department at the cost of $8,000, down from the usual price of $9,500. The amount is covered in the budget.