By: Lydia Crawley
The Parsons Advocate
The proposed expansion of GS Millwork has made a step towards fruition after the City of Parsons Council meeting. Dave Lambert of GS Millwork was on hand to hear discussion over the proposed lease of several City owned lots in order for the company to begin work on expanding operations at their location in Parsons.
According to Parsons City Attorney Tim Stranko, both he and City Administrator Agnes Arnold had spoken with representatives of GS Millwork in a Zoom call to discuss particulars of the project. “Aggie (Arnold) and I had a very productive phone call with senior staff, I guess we’ll call it, with GS Millwork,” Stranko said. “Dave Lambert was the lead though there were other folks on the phone.”
The main issue with the project surrounds the lease or purchase of City owned lots in the area. Stranko mentioned three lots in the area that constitute the gravel parking lot. According to Stranko the lots are not part of the FEMA Buy Out lots prevalent in the area and are instead premium lots free of the restrictions many lots in the area have. “You know now what that is it’s the rented gravel parking lot that GS Millwork uses to put some of their trailers on. They are interested in either leasing or purchasing,” Stranko said. “Council is able to do that.”
The decision for the Council was centered around the logistics that would come into play with each option. Recorder Tim Auvil pointed out that lease would be the best option. According to Auvil, if the City chose to sell the lots, they would have to be publicly listed for bids on the government sale site. With that option, there was a chance for GS Millwork to be outbid and lose the lots all together, Auvil said.
With the lease option, GS Millworks would be guaranteed the lots, Auvil said. The Council agreed on the need for a long term lease for the lots. The Council decided to have a committee hash out the particulars of a lease agreement and present the Council with the terms. The Council informed Lambert that they intend to have something for his company by March.
As part of the project, the company had requested the blocking of through traffic to two streets in the area, according to Stranko. Under the proposal, signage and locked gate would be installed at the site. However, the gates would still allow emergency access to the streets. “They are proposing that we block through traffic with locked gates on Davis and Brook,” Stranko said.
Placement of the signs could be completed by the Public Works Department without Council action, according to Stranko. The gates would be added at a later date, according to Stranko. “That’s not something the Council has to act on at least by State code.”
The original request was to abandon the roads that are proposed to be closed and gated. Under the current plan, the street would have an official status of “vacation of a street.” This measure would not abandon the roads permanently and allow the City to reopen them for use at a later date if needed. However, the vacation of the streets would require the approval of one landowner in the area in order to be completed, according to Auvil.
GS Millwork has proposed creating a 26- to 28-foot-wide gravel road around the historic Butternut Tree in the area. The tree is endangered and is the largest known tree of its type in the State. The gravel road would also provide through access between the two streets that are proposed to be gated under the plan.
The next meeting of the City of Parsons Council will be held on January 23rd at 6 p.m. at the Charles W. “Bill” Rosenau Municipal Building located at 341 Second Street in Parsons.