City Council approves contract for storm damage repairs to Grand Theater
Local contractor Bobby Smallwood was approved for two contracts at Monday night’s City Council meeting. He was given a $125,000 contract to make storm damage repairs to the Grand Theater.
He also won a contract for just under $400,000 for the Safe Routes to School project that will encompass sidewalks and bicycle lanes around Justiss Elementary School and Crockett Intermediate School.
Among other things in a four-hour meeting, the council:
- approved a residential tax abatement plan for most of the city inside the loop. None of City Council districts 6 or 7 are included. Residents will be exempt from taxes on new homes or on improvements for five years. None of City Council districts 6 or 7 are in the tax abatement zone. The council had tabled the item several weeks ago, but at the behest of Mayor AJ Hashmi agreed to approve the earlier plan and to decide in a year whether to further tweak the ordinance.
- approved the final plat, and a zoning change, for a tract in the 3900 block of Bonham Street, just west of the loop. The existing service station and Ward’s West Side Restaurant will be torn down to make room for a 5,000-square-foot convenience store. The restaurant will relocate into an existing building directly to the west of the present cafe.
- agreed to lease to the Valley of the Caddo Museum and Cultural Center space in the depot adjacent (to the north) to the Paris Economic Development Board. The space has been used previously as a transportation museum. In an arrangement similar to the genealogical society, the city will pick up the utility costs. Dr. Phillip Bandel and Gene Stallings were present to represent Valley of the Caddo Museum.
- spent more than two hours hearing presentations from four large engineering firms interested in designing the first $35 million in Paris’ $45 million infrastructure bond issue. Members of the council had questions for each presenter. The council will meet in a special meeting next Monday with each council member instructed to have rankings on each of the four and suggestions as to how many to go with. None of the four firms was allowed in the council chambers for their competitors’ presentations.
By Charles Richards, eParisExtra