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Today's word on journalism

Monday, September 3, 2007

"I've always been all over the lot in my writing. Except for poetry -- even though they say all the old-time sportswriters use plenty of it. Maybe it's just part of what we do."

--Frank DeFord, 2006

Hyde Park business told to improve road as condition of permit

By Laura Mecham

April 19, 2007 | HYDE PARK -- The Planning and Zoning Commission told Agri-Service Wednesday that the road in front of its building and the surrounding area must come into compliance with city ordinances before the company will be issued a permit.

The commission sent Agri-Service a letter requesting that a representative attend the meeting to discuss necessary improvements to their property. Lawrence Welsh of Agri-Service represented the company. He told the commission that upon purchasing the property from Blake Parker a few years ago, the company was under the impression that Parker would finish the road as he had agreed to do when he purchased the property.

"He's now passed that burden onto you. Your beef will have to be with him," commission member Reed Elder said to Welsh.

Elder said when Agri-Service purchased the property, the commission assumed the responsibility of improving the road would be taken on by them. Elder said the city could only require improvements be made against the land owner, and when land switches hands, the city can only look to the current owner. He told Welsh that although the city could not hold Parker accountable for anything, he encouraged Welsh to approach Parker if there had been a misunderstanding in the agreements made during the transfer of ownership.

"It has to get done and we can only look to the land owner to do it," Elder said.

The city has a $10,000 bond on the land and will until the property is brought into compliance with the city ordinance. Agri-Service only has a temporary occupancy and must come into accordance with the city ordinance before they will be granted a permit. The property has been split in half since Parker sold it and Argi-Service is sharing it with IFA Country Stores. The commission told Welsh the city expects Agri-Service to finish the half of the road in front of their piece of the property and create curbs, gutters, sidewalks, a fire truck turn-about for fire safety and bring all utilities to the north of their property.

Welsh told the commission he had assumed the city would simply hold the company's bond until the changes had been made. Elder said if that were the case, there would be a good chance the improvements would never get done. Elder said the reason the road hasn't been paid much attention until now is because it is a dead-end, but he said one day it will lead somewhere and should be brought up to standard as soon as possible. Welsh said Agri-Service will begin improvements within the next 60 days and the commission said they would discuss the improvements needed for the other half of the road with IFA.

"Our goal is that when you drive through Hyde Park's commercial community it will look nice. It doesn't have to be a silk purse, but it should look good," Elder said.


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