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Planning Commission OKs new zoning for industrial park

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Sept. 26, 2001
The Meridian Planning Commission voted 6-1 Tuesday to recommend to the city council that the Meridian Interstate 20/59 Industrial Park be rezoned for industrial purposes.
Planning Commission member Evelyn Polk cast the only "no" vote.
The industrial park is located in the northeast quadrant of the interchange at Interstate 20/59 and U.S. Highway 45.
Don Jemison, who represented Meridian's Community Development Department at a public hearing Tuesday night, favors the re-zoning. He said two residents spoke against re-zoning and one spoke in favor. Resident Sadie Martin and attorney Bill Ready Jr., who was representing another resident of the area, spoke against rezoning.
Terrell Temple, chairman of the industrial park committee for the East Mississippi Business Development Corp., said city leaders originally zoned the 630-acre industrial park for agricultural use because Malone Ranch was formerly located there.
The new zoning, Temple said, will limit the property to industrial and commercial usage.
The EMBDC handles marketing for the park.
Wade Jones, EMBDC president, said the re-zoning is a formality but necessary to the development of the park.
Jones said now that the land has been acquired and the underbrush cleaned, the Mississippi Department of Transportation will clean trees off the roadsides so the site can be seen from Interstate 20/59.
He said local officials are working with Mississippi's congressional delegation to secure funding for a new interchange, and hope to secure a grant to help pay for water and sewer service to the park.
Jemison said there is a 10-working-day appeal time before the Planning Commission's recommendation can appear on the Meridian City Council's agenda. The council could approve the recommendation as early as Oct. 16.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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