By SUE WATSON
Marshall County and the City of Holly Springs have agreed to work in a unified manner to rezone properties in the new Springs Industrial Park, a 3,000-acre corridor north and west of the city.
The park is subdivided into three large tracts of property. Maps can be viewed at the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority office located at 520 J.M. Ash Drive, Holly Springs.
Justin Hall, executive director of the Marshall County Industrial Authority, and Clay Moore, public works director for Holly Springs, presented the concept to the mayor and board of aldermen recently.
“We are moving ahead to rezone an industrial site by August,” Hall said. “We recommend the city and Marshall County rezone together.”
Alderman Tim Liddy asked if the rezoning would work like the PUL Alliance (Pontotoc/Union/Lee Alliance) acting as a single entity.
Hall said the current interlocal agreement between the city and county has gotten the park approved by the Mississippi Legislature. And the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Economic Development team will work closely to guide the process and to streamline the methodology to get some sites ready, he said.
The Marshall County IDA will be the local authority to handle the creation of the park.
Hall said about 90 percent of the landowners in the Springs Park boundary want to participate with 10-year memoranda of understanding, while a few are still undecided and may sign agreements later.
Alderman Mark Miller asked when public meetings will be held.
Moore said Marshall County Zoning and the city zoning department are already looking at holding public meetings to hear questions about rezoning. They hope to start advertising for hearings in July. The planning commission would be involved, he said.
If the city approves moving forward, the IDA board would take up the rezoning process in July.
Mayor Kelvin Buck called for a motion to endorse the idea of working together.
“The rezoning process should be a standard process and shouldn’t deviate from the requirements of each government entity,” Buck said.
Hall said the Legislature passed the measure to create Springs Industrial Park last year based upon a map and work with landowners for four to five years. The boundaries are the same as before, he said.
The Mississippi Development Authority will help identify the most profitable land to start development, Hall said.
Landowners who have signed 10-year agreements can drop out after 10 years are expired.
Properties in the city limits at the intersections of Eddie Lee Smith Drive and Highway 78 will likely be spots for gas stations and service industries, Moore said.
Discussion complete, Miller made a motion to continue to work with the county to rezone the Springs Industrial Park. Alderman Bernita Fountain-Lowe seconded the motion and it passed by a vote of 3-1 with alderman Sharon Gipson voting against the agreement and alderman Christy Owens absent from the meeting.
Buck concluded, “You do not have to create a new alliance every time you discuss anything related to the park.”