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Starkville aldermen to address Maple Drive drainage problems


Tim Pratt



The Starkville Board of Aldermen tonight will consider whether drainage issues which have plagued Maple Drive residents for years should be considered a public health and safety threat.  


If the board feels the recurring flooding is a threat, state statute allows the city to enter private property south of Maple Drive and implement erosion and flood-control measures.  


A retention pond between Highway 12 and Maple Drive overflows during heavy rain events and sends water rushing down a hill toward Maple Drive and the rest of the Green Oaks neighborhood. A private drainage system at Starkville Crossing Shopping Center also empties water down the hill. 


A drainage ditch lines the rear of the homes on Maple Drive, but it overflows during heavy rains and water pours into residents'' yards. One resident, Susan Shappley, moved out of her home due to the recurring flooding -- it happens several times a year, most recently after heavy rains New Year''s Eve -- and mold.  


City Engineer Edward Kemp is working on plans for a project which, among other things, would divert water away from Maple Drive and toward Stark Road. The project would cost about $25,000 and funds would come from city''s capital improvement project drainage program. 


Mayor Parker Wiseman Monday said he is hopeful aldermen will declare the Maple Drive drainage issue a public health and safety threat so the city can mitigate the situation as soon as possible.  


"This is going to enable us to do some work that''s much-needed in that area," Wiseman said. 


In other business tonight, aldermen will consider a conditional use request from the developer of The Creamery at Central Station to redevelop the second floor of the building into luxury condominiums. The structure, located at the corner of Montgomery and Lampkin streets, is in a C-2 general business zone, where multi-family use is allowed, but only with conditions mandated by the city.  


Developer Jeremy Tabor, of Tabor Construction and Development, has said he wants to construct eight condominiums in the space, but also wants to reserve the right to use the second floor for commercial purposes or a combination of both. Central Station Grill, Boardtown Bikes, Something Southern and Central Station Storage already are open in the building, formerly known as the Borden milk plant.  


The city''s planning and zoning commission recommended aldermen approve Tabor''s conditional use request.  


In other business, the aldermen tonight will consider whether to enter into an agreement with developers of the proposed CottonMill Marketplace over use of a parking garage planned with the development. The agreement will give CottonMill Marketplace exclusive rights to 150 spots in the multi-story parking deck, once constructed.  


Starkville received an $8 million Community Development Block Grant to construct the garage between Highway 12 and the E.E. Cooley building and is in the process of bidding for the design and construction of the project. When complete, the garage would have 654 parking spaces. The city would enter into a management agreement with a firm that has experience operating parking garages.  


Aldermen meet today at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall.




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