City closes deal on Fairfax Mill property

Published 7:51 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2018

VALLEY — A sale has closed on the Fairfax Mill property, and the City of Valley is asking the Chambers County Commission to remove the former mill property from industrial park status.

This should be a routine matter since the Commission has a policy of removing this status if the property owner seeks it. Since the owner is the city, this should be a formality. The site will then be annexed into the city and eventually converted into green space.

The city purchased the property for $125,000 and is already in the process of having it cleaned up.

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The action was approved in a unanimous vote of the council. Council Member Jim Jones, who made the motion to do this, said that this had been a long time coming.

“It’s ten years too late, but we’ll take it,” he said.

The previous owner left two large holes on the site. Mayor Leonard Riley said that one of the holes, some 20 feet deep, had been filled in and that the Public Works Department was working to fill in the other one.

Council Member Cassie Carlisle, who represents the River View area, said that some residents of her district had been having a hard time seeing the historic River View Gym come down, this coming after the mill’s demolition.

“Some are wondering what will come next,” she said. “We do want to express thanks for some recent grass cutting that took place there and for clearing up the site where the gym was.”

Speaking about another gym, Parks and Recreation Director Laurie Blount said that the painting and striping of the Community Center’s gym floor had been completed and that it looks great.

“It’s very pretty and shiny,” she said. “We will open it to the public on Sept. 4th (the day after Labor Day.”

Blount said that people are welcome to come by and look at it, but they have to have the basketball goals in place before people can get on it.

“They are very heavy, and we want to make sure the floor is completely dry before we move something that heavy on it,” she said.

Blount added that the Community Center would be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT on Labor Day.

In other action, the city accepted the offer of Donald Ray Browning and Charles W. Browning to sell an easement needed for the construction and maintenance of a drainage system. The city will pay them $2,500 to have access to some property that they own.

The council approved a budget resolution to purchase some equipment that had been requested by Valley Police Department. This will be covered by a $330 donation that had been made by Hood’s Pharmacy.

Police Chief Tommy Weldon said that Valley Police Department had answered 1,234 calls in the month of July and that officers had issued 60 citations and 115 warnings while making 81 arrests. VPD detectives had been assigned 41 cases during the month and had cleared 16 of them. The city’s animal control officer, Weldon said, had received 38 complaints and had placed 12 animals in the local shelter.

Council Member Paul Story thanked Patrick Bolt and the men of the Public Works Department on having done a lot of pothole patching around local schools before classes started earlier this month. Council Member Marquetta Madden thanked Public Works on having done some needed street work in her district over the past few weeks.

Mayor Riley reminded Valley residents that now is a good time to purchase cemetery lots in the city. Come October 1st, they will be doubling in price from the present $200 to $400.

City hall will be closed for the Labor Day holiday but will reopen at normal hours on Tuesday.The next council meeting will be at 6 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Sept. 6th. Two public hearings will precede the meeting, one to discuss a USDA grant application with another to confirm the costs of demolishing property located at 335 Rehobeth Road, 3405 15th Avenue and 2014 22nd Avenue.