By NATHAN GREGORY
The Starkville Board of Aldermen will discuss and consider establishing a committee to review proposals for construction of a parking garage related to the CottonMill project at its 5:30 p.m. meeting today at City Hall.
The city will accept sealed proposals from architectural firms for the economic development project funded by the Mississippi Development Authority with $8 million in Community Development Block Grant funding. Mayor Parker Wiseman said such a committee would be tasked with scoring each proposal and selecting the best team for the project. Starkville became eligible for the funding as part of being in the disaster area from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
If approved, the committee would consist of Wiseman, an alderman to be named, a Cooley Center representative and a Mississippi State University representative. A document in the board’s e-packet states MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development David Shaw and CottonMill developer Mark Castleberry have shown interest in sitting on the committee.
The project consists of a three-bay, four-level concrete garage that can hold approximately 650 cars. The board approved an amended memorandum of agreement master document with MDA at its previous meeting.
Another item regarding the project listed in the board’s e-packet posted online Friday has been pulled from the agenda and will not be discussed today, Wiseman confirmed.
The item calls for consideration to approve a budget modification for the grant to establish a line item for a construction manager of the parking garage project. Wiseman said the matter would be addressed at the board’s March 19 recess meeting.
“The timeline is tight on this and everybody knew the timeline was going to be tight, but we all feel very good about the progress this project is making,” Wiseman said.
All nine consideration items regarding zoning change and parking lot requests from representatives of First Baptist Church Starkville had also been pulled from the agenda, he said. The Board of Adjustments and Appeals allowed two variances from form-based codes for the church’s proposed child care facility and drop-off lane last Wednesday. Wiseman said because the 10-day window for appeals to the board’s decision had not expired, City Attorney Chris Latmer advised against addressing the items.
Two public hearings are also scheduled for the meeting. The first is on updating and amending the city’s official street map to adopt previously renamed and adopted city streets. If passed in a later meeting, the ordinance would also officially rename the section of Spring Street from Highway 12 to Russell Street to Needmore Place.
The second is on a proposed revision to the city’s landscape ordinance to include greater detail in vegetation options and emphasis on environmentally sound plant materials.