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PARIS, TN: City deal for cemetery blocked

November 2, 2016 GMT

BY BILL McCUTCHEON

POST-INTELLIGENCER

The Paris Commission agreed at its meeting late Tuesday afternoon to withdraw its offer to assume ownership of Hillcrest Cemetery.

After the city approved the plan at the October meeting, Bill Looney — who has a 46.33 percent interest in the cemetery — stated in a letter to attorney Steve Greer that he was “not willing to any move by the shareholders to deed the land and all assets to the City of Paris.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, another shareholder in the cemetery, Jack Veazey Jr. said he would ask the state to intervene in the dispute and would be meeting with the state’s attorney about the matter.

In other actions Tuesday, commissioners had a public hearing about the rezoning of a large strip of land on the south side of Memorial Drive.

“After we received a number of comments and concerns about the rezoning, we believe it would be better to have the planning commission study the issue further,” City Manager Kim Foster said.

Much of the concern was from residents of Fairview Street, immediately behind the strip to be rezoned.

The plan was to rezone all properties on the south side of Memorial Drive from B-3 to B-1.

Most of the concerns from Fairview Street residents regarded uses that might be made to the Memorial Drive properties after rezoning.

Veterinarian Michael Boley had requested that his property be rezoned along with two additional lots he had acquired and planners then decided the additonal properties be included.

Many of the Fairview Street residents were concerned about the uses that Boley would make after the rezoning.

In her financial update, Finance Director Traci Pillow said there was a 1.7 percent increase in retail sales in Paris in August compared to August of last year. Calendar year-to-date sales are still ahead by almost 3 percent.

About 52 percent of the total ESN122 Fire Membership fees have been collected. Pillow said the city typically collects around 65 percent by the end of the fiscal year.

Commissioners approved writing off almost $5,300 in delinquent property taxes.

The more than 20 pieces of property were some that did not get purchased in the delinquent tax sale and were transferred to the county.