Eclectic Town Council

Daniel Dye / The Observer

Eclectic Mayor Gary Davenport, right, discusses a proposed multiuse housing development as councilmember David Goodwin looks on. The amendment to rezone the 94 acres from industrial to residential passed 3-2.

The Eclectic Town Council narrowly passed an amendment to rezone approximately 94 acres of land that is part of the Eclectic Industrial Park property Monday night.

Councilmembers Carmen Winslett, David Goodwin and Linda Reed voted in favor of the amendment and councilmembers Jackie Stearns and Stephanie Stepney voted against rezoning the property. 

Mayor Gary Davenport abstained from voting.

The move paves the way for up to 120 homes, possibly multifamily homes, and a retail structure to be built on this property.

The site is located in the area of Central and Madix roads and the sizes of the lots will be between 1/3 to a full acre while the square footage of the homes will be around 1,400 to 1,800.

The council discussed the issue at length before voting.

Winslett asked developer Rod Wright if the plans would include Section 8 housing in the covenants. He said there would be no Section 8 housing within the development.

According to Wright, the type of multifamily housing will be determined in the future.

“The multifamily could go where the market shows we go,” he said. “Right now, we are requesting the zoning and capacity be saved for me at this point.”

Davenport said the sale of the land to Wright turned a profit for the town.

“In 1997 the town voted to keep the 94 acres at an expense of $310,000,” he said. “In doing so, they sold a small plot of land for $5,000. At this point in time the cost of the 94 acres to the town is $305,00.”

Davenport said Wright agreed to purchase the property from the town for $450,000.

The council approved the refinance of $195,000 of debt and to borrow additional $35,000 to purchase a used fire truck intended to replace a fire truck.

Eclectic Fire Department chief Josh Dorminey said the fire department is looking at anywhere from $20,000 to $60,000 to fix the diesel motor in the truck the town owns.

“The truck we own was last refurbished in 1998 and is probably an early 1980s model,” Dorminey said.

He said the interest rate to refinance the town’s current loan will drop from 4.5% to 4% and will add an   additional year to the payoff date.

Davenport also informed the council the town’s water works department will replace residents and businesses’ round-reading meters with digital meters.

“We will start probably the middle of July installing those,” he said. “The plan is between now and August of next year to have all those digital meters installed. This save a ton of money and time and wear and tear on vehicles.”

Davenport said the town will use contract labor to install the digital meters and said it takes around 15 minutes to update a meter.

Davenport also updated the council concerning upcoming elections.

“July 7 begins the qualification period for municipal elections,” he said. “That is the first date you can declare your candidacy.”

The qualification period closes at 5 p.m. July 21. Anyone wanting to run for town council or mayor must apply with the town’s clerk.

Davenport also asked the public for assistance at the polls.

“We need five people to volunteer, but we are having trouble getting some of our citizens to sign up,” he said. “The workers will have masks, shields, boxes of pens, all that stuff.”

In other action, the council:

• Approved the minutes from the May 18 council meeting and May 26 public hearing

• Approved to surplus scrap property including broken sewer pumps and damaged street signs and a damaged metal garage door

• Approved the purchase of a weedeater and two safety vests and harnesses 

• Approved a sales tax holiday July 17-19 for school shopping

• Approved the town to pursue a $250,000 grant to refurbish Panther Palace