The land for the Piney Park project has been given its next step of approval after a public hearing on zoning at Thursday night’s Marshall City Council meeting.
The 126.51 acres parcel of land located at the corridor of Interstate 20 and Hwy. 59 has been going through a lengthy process since June of becoming a seasonal holiday park. During Thursday night’s meeting, council approved a zoning change from A&E (Agriculture and Estate) to C-3, the zoning classification for general business. Per zoning laws, a notice of intent to change was provided by the city to seven individuals within 200 feet of the property and no responses were provided.
No one spoke during the public hearing and council approved the change after unanimous approval at the July 8 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
The park is planning to be open in time for this year’s holiday season, owners previously told the News Messenger.
Council members also gave unanimous approval to allow the city to participate in a coalition of cities that will be speaking to the Railroad Commission of Texas in relation to House Bill 1520. HB 1520 allows certain gas utilities to potentially recuperate some of their costs by passing through rates to their customers associated with Winter Storm Uri.
The resolution authorized a legal expense of $3,054 to join with the coalition. Potentially, these legal fees may be reimbursed.
July’s Keep Marshall Beautiful award recipients were also recognized at the meeting. Julie J. Simmons CPA, located at 314 S. Lafayette Street, was winner of the July Commercial Beautification Award and Bobby and Tersa Mace of 3005 Victory Drive, were winners of the July Residential Beautification Award.
Two other items were given unanimous approval including new vehicles for the Public Works Department and an expenditure for the Marshall Business Park.
Director of Public Works Eric Powell received the go ahead to purchase two new trucks for the Distribution and Collection Division of the Public Works Department.
Despite the costs being slightly less on Texas Buy Board, Powell explained there would be a delay until January or longer. Locally, the two trucks could be secured now thanks in part due to another company backing out of purchasing the trucks. The potential delay concerned Powell and councilmembers due to needing to replace vehicles from the aging fleet and potential winter weather before January.
”We are quite lucky to get these trucks,” City councilmember Vernia Calhoun said. The trucks are being purchased and outfitted locally.
Marshall Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) Executive Director Rush Harris also made a presentation to council about MEDCO investing $2.8 million in the Marshall Business Park to made it move-in ready for businesses. The money is being expended from MEDCO’s reserves. MEDCO must have council approval for any expenditure more than $50,000.
”We have lost businesses to others,” Councilmember Amanda Abraham said, in regard to the project. Councilmember Calhoun complimented Harris and MEDCO on their presentation.
The $2.8 million project was approved by council and is anticipated to be complete within six to eight months.