Mill financing request not expected at aldermen meeting

March 19, 2013 10:28:19 AM

Carl Smith - [email protected]


An expected tax increment financing request by Columbus-based developer Mark Castleberry will have to wait at least one more month. 


Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman confirmed Monday Castleberry's request would not be on today's board of aldermen agenda. 


Castleberry said in February he is seeking a 15-year, $3.25 million TIF agreement for infrastructure improvements which would utilize up to 75 percent of ad valorem and sales tax returns for debt payments. He was expected to make that request last month, but delays pushed back his presentation. 


Wiseman Monday said legal counsel is still compiling the documents needed for the request. A firm date for the presentation is not known at this time. 


The board is expected to discuss negotiations for an $8 million, 650-space parking facility related to the project. 


A review committee comprised of Ward 2 Alderman Sandra Sistrunk, Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas, Mississippi State University Vice President for Research and Economic Development David Shaw, Castleberry and Wiseman scored Copeland and Johns Inc. (construction manager-advisor) and Dale Partners Architects P.A. (architectural services) as the highest-rated of the seven groups who expressed interest in the project. 


Dale Partners received a perfect 100-point score, while Copeland and Johns received a 95. 


With a majority vote, the board could appoint Golden Triangle Planning and Development District Project Analyst Phyllis Benson and City Clerk Taylor Adams to the negotiation team, with Castleberry serving in an advisory role. 


If approved, negotiations would begin to determine a mutually satisfactory contract for services with both entities. Negotiations would begin with the next highest-rated group if an agreement cannot be reached. 


In other business, aldermen could begin the process for dealing with another set of dilapidated structures. 


Aldermen previously approved demolition projects in February associated with a number of structures deemed to be health and safety hazards by the city. 


Tuesday, the board could authorize city attorney Chris Latimer to conduct title searches on nine dilapidated properties. Those structures include: 19 Canal St., 123 Ernest Jones Jr. Drive, a building located at the northeast corner of Mississippi Highway 12 East and Vine Street, a burned home located at 511 South Jackson St., 721 South Jackson St., the old bus depot located at 300 East Lampkin St., 231 Long St., 516 West Main St. and 600 North Montgomery St. 


Title searches will allow city officials to contact property owners in order to remedy the situations.

Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch