BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WEST POINT – A move by the holding company leasing property in West Point to the new Dollar General hit a small snag last week in being annexed into the West Point city limits.
At Tuesday’s regular monthly meeting of the West Point City Council, a move to annex property on the city’s west side on Hwy. 103 had to be reset due to a boundary issue. City officials didn’t realize, until the Lee County Auditor’s office pointed it out, that the city didn’t own the 20 feet between the Dollar General property and the city limits. The city can’t annex property unless it’s adjacent to the property so the city had to move to annex the 20-foot patch and reapply to annex the store property.
City Clerk Diane Smith said the city received information last week that the owner of the property that was sold to the Dollar General holding company kept the 20-foot swatch of property in the deal with the company.
She said he held ownership to help with storm water run off and wanted to maintain the property. However, the city is now sending paperwork to the auditor’s office to annex the 20-feet strip and, for a second time, voluntary annexation paperwork for the Dollar General property.
West Point Mayor Paul Walker said all the paperwork and diligence has now been done on both sets of property and the city should be able to move forward with the annexation.
New Councilmember Dan Waters, who replaced Shawn Bales after he resigned in September, asked what the advantage was to the property being annexed. Walker said Dollar General asked to be voluntarily annexed and they will be hooked into the city’s electrical grid. He said, however, that they would have been on the city’s electrical service because the property is within the city’s franchise area. Dollar General, which will use minimal water, will be on the Rathbun Regional Water Service and not city water, but will be on city sewer, pending the approval of the annexation.
In an unrelated matter, the city also approved applying for state revolving loan funds to pay for a $1.5 million lagoon upgrade. The city has been working in plans for the sewer system upgrade with Garden Associates Engineering, the firm contracted to do engineering services for the lagoon. West Point bumped its sewer rates a little more than a year ago to offset the costs of the engineering fees.
The project will result in water in the lagoon going through an additional four filters before being discharged.
The council also approved a request to install Christmas decorations in the city park and approved a request to hold a Winter Wonderland Wine & Beer Walk on Dec. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. around the city’s square. Thirteen businesses on the square and Brad’s Pad and Pizza Garden on the east side of the city’s business district have agreed to participate in the 2nd annual event.
The council also approved the annual fiscal reports of the Planning and Zoning Commission and West Point Municipal Utilities.