Measure tabled for one month
Editor’s Note: Since this article published, the Council called a special meeting for Monday, Aug. 22 at 5 p.m. in the Police Jury room of the courthouse concerning this matter.
A new Dollar General store in Fairview Alpha hit a snag at the Parish Council meeting Monday with the council tabling the ordinance that would have approved rezoning for the store at 220 Hwy. Hwy. 71/84.
At the July meeting, the ordinance was introduced to rezone 7 acres from Industrial-Agriculture to Business 3 with a variance reducing the number of required parking spaces from 50 to 30. It was scheduled for a vote at the meeting Monday.
The Dollar General store is proposed to be built on property where the old Fairview Alpha School once was. Amy Vickers told the council that her family once owned the property and sold the school board two acres for the school in 1965 with the understanding that the family would have right of first refusal if the property was ever sold.
Vickers said the school board sold the property in 2012 without notifying the family, the sale was illegal and there was no clear title to the property.
Council chairman John Salter asked council attorney Steven Mansour to comment and he said the rezoning had been approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission. It was Mansour’s opinion that it was not the council’s job to resolve ownership but to move forward with the rezoning and the request for variance of parking spaces. He said anything else should be dealt with in court.
HP Investments and Dollar General representative John Flippo said his company had title insurance to clear the title and had paid for the property. He said Vickers’ claim was a civil issue and he was there for the zoning variance. He said his company was told “it was good to go.”
Councilperson Chris Paige said that many rural communities get dollar stores that are a blessing for some but he was hesitant to vote on the ordinance because of the ownership questions that he wished had been taken to the courtroom.
Salter also said he was not ready to vote. Councilperson Jim Kilcoyne said he would vote no.
Mansour said to table the ordinance would allow a vote at the next meeting and voting no or having the motion die for lack of a second would further delay any action.
There was a unanimous vote to table the ordinance.
The council introduced two ordinances including one to change zoning from Industrial Agriculture to Business 3 for general merchandise sales and a vehicle inspection site at a store at 10597 Hwy. 1, south of Natchitoches.
The council also adopted a budget amendment for solid waste, highway and planning and zoning.
The council approved an updated accounting and financial policy and procedural manual. The changes are made to update accounting information and add policy and procedures required by FEMA.
The council awarded the base bid for resurfacing Hart Road to Apeck Construction LLC in the amount of $2.6 million.
The council also approved the reappointment of Joshua Moak and Denis Broadway to the Fire District 7 board; appointment of Michael Deason to the Planning and Zoning Commission; and appointment of Valencia Jones to the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center board. Jones replaces the late Arthur Welch.