“When you drive back there, it looks like a fort,” Councilman Eddie Carter stated at last week’s city council meeting, “It is impressive.” Those words were echoed by Mayor Bill Miracle as the council discussed the Logan’s Fort Project at their March meeting. “Drive back out there and look at it,” Miracle agreed, “I was impressed.”
The mayor and Irene Jaggers then informed the council that the Fort Foundation had received yet another grant for the project, but there’s a catch; the grant, for around $23,000, hinges on the city being able to raise over $40,000 to meet its share of a 35- 65 match. While the foundation has several fundraisers planned, the city would have to borrow most of its matching funds with the foundation turning over the donations to the city for payment on the loan.
Carter expressed concern over borrowing more funds, saying that despite being involved with the fort for about 15 years, he was hesitant for the city to go deeper into debt. The council tabled discussion on borrowing the necessary funds to secure the grant which would allow the foundation to complete another cabin at the site located at the end of Martin Luther King Street, just off Danville Avenue. Dubbed “the first original duplex” by architect Garlan Vanhook, the cabin would be the third out of 10 buildings planned for the site which the foundation hopes to complete over the next two to three years.
In other business, the council voted to accept engineer Doug Gooch’s recommendation that Hill-Don Construction’s bid to renovate Logan Avenue be accepted. Gooch stated that owner Don Davis had done streetscapes for the city about ten years ago, so the city was familiar with their work. Hill-Don’s bid was about $274,000; Stanford has borrowed $350,000 to complete the project. The contract, which should fix water drainage problems that have plagued that area since the city was formed, calls for the project to be completed six months from the start date.
The council heard that the Logan’s Fort and the old ice plant, which is being remodeled for use as the fort’s visitor center, had been victims of vandalism. The council suggested that the Fort Foundation should look into putting a cable type fence around the area to make it more secure.
The council also heard the first reading of an annexation ordinance involving a boundary dispute in the Forest Hills neighborhood. The dispute centers around a stable/riding ring built on 24 acres belonging to Mike Jackson. Stanford resident Jim Jarrett had complained to Stanford Planning and Zoning and then to the City Council that the stable was a business and was located inside a residential zone within the city limits. The area is zoned R-1, Residential Single Family. The council heard the complaint last summer and asked AGE Engineering to resurvey the city limit boundaries in question.
Jarrett’s major complaint was about traffic from horse trailers coming through the 19-foot wide streets of the residential subdivision to the stables and horse rink Jackson built. He stated the business itself was located inside the city limits and asked how that was allowed to happen with Planning and Zoning rules in place. Jackson maintains that his farm is just outside the city limits. Zoning Enforcement Officer Ken McDaniel and Chairman Judy Hester had looked at the area in question last spring and were unable to make a true determination of the city line, therefore, the council voted to have the boundary surveyed in that area. The survey showed the business in question to be split by the boundary.
AGE’s Doug Gooch said that his firm recreated and measured the boundaries as set forth in the annexation ordinance dated 1977 and discovered there were four or five other properties that were inside the city limits but that had never been taxed. The proposed ordinance will clarify the city limits in that area once it receives a second reading and publication.
Mayor Miracle informed the council that there were now three tenants paying rent at City Hall. The rent is expected to add about six thousand dollars a year to the city’s general fund.
Councilman Scottie Ernst asked if the old creamery on Martin Luther King Street, which is owned by the city, could be advertised and rented out. The mayor said that First Southern was storing some hardwood flooring there at no charge since they had installed an overhead bay door at no cost to the City.