By BEN GRAFTON
At the Freeport City Council meeting of April 9, City Planner Latilda Hughes presented the second reading of a proposed ordinance to revise the Industrial Use section of the City’s Land Development Code. The Council adopted the ordinance.
Henninger introduced request to abandon the development plan for a 34 acre portion of the Owl’s Head development that lies west of U.S. 331 adjacent to the industrial parks. Ownership of this property has reverted to a bank and it is available for sale. The Walton County Economic Development Alliance (WCEDA) has authorized Mayor Mickey Marse, a member of the WCEDA Board, to make an offer to buy the property. The amount of land still available for expansion in the Freeport industrial parks is down to 25 acres and the Owl’s Head parcel would enable WCEDA to attract additional businesses to the area. A motion was approved with the provision that if the offer to buy is accepted by the bank, then the City Council will undertake rezoning the parcel for light industrial use.
Capt. Tom Palmer of the Freeport Fire Department gave a summary of department activity for March. During that month, the department responded to a total of 75 calls including 47 for medical aid, 12 for vehicle accidents and five structure fires. The firefighters also participated in training and cleaned and painted 75 fire hydrants. Palmer also reported that the upgrade of the station’s electrical system was proceeding well.
Parks Director Shane Supple complimented the fire department personnel for the support they provided during the annual Easter egg hunt. The event was declared a great success. Marse said, “When the kids were turned loose it was like a giant vacuum cleaner going across the fields.”
Anna Hudson of Preble-Rish Engineering reported that at the control house for No. 4 Well, the contractor is working to correct the last items on the punch list (deficiencies) and that the work on the new altitude valve for the Portland water tank has slowed awaiting delivery of additional pressure tubing for the system.
Engineer Cliff Knauer of Preble-Rish reported that, with the aid of Councilman Earl King, the reason that one of the storm water retention ponds in the Cross Creek development was draining rapidly has been identified. The problem is corrosion failure of a section of pipe that allows water to drain out of the pond. Options, including the possible use of HDPE (high density polyethylene) pipe are under review. In any event, Department of Environmental Protection approval will be required for the proposed work.
Lora Renfroe, representing Relay for Life, asked the Council to provide a proclamation honoring cancer survivors and observing the “Color Our Town Purple” event to be held at the Sports Complex on May 3 and 4. They also asked approval to place large purple ribbons in the downtown area on May 1 and for the Council and city hall employees wear purple on that day. The request was approved.
Councilman Ray Jackson reported, “The rodeo went off good. The was a big turnout. Events went off without a hitch and a lot of people were pleased.”