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City of Cooper

COOPER — In an effort to update city zoning, City Council made its first move by rezoning Dallas Avenue from light industrial to light commercial.

“If you asked anyone how Dallas Avenue was zoned, they would tell you it was residential and light commercial all through town on both sides of the street,” Mayor Darren Braddy told council members at Monday night’s meeting.

Outside inquiries had the city take a closer look at the actual zoning, which, puzzlingly, turned out to be light industrial. The designation was found on a zoning map from 1999, which hasn’t been updated since, Braddy told council members.

“That’s not a healthy situation for us to be in at all,” he said. “Nobody knows why it was chosen to be done that way.”

The street is mostly residential and commercial, Braddy added, though several decades ago there were industrial business on one side of town. With portions of the city zoning being out of step with the current residents and tenants and business in town, it could cause problems for the city on down the line. The planning and zoning board met Saturday morning to correct the problem, he said.

“The second thing is, we decided we need to go back and we’re going to start cleaning up those spots that need to be fixed,” Braddy said. “That’s going to take some time. If someone came in and questioned how we are zoned, we might have a challenge on our hands stopping something from coming in.”

He said businesses that fall outside of the area zoning cleanup will be included in the plans to make sure their property is zoned properly. And, after the city has identified and worked through the problem areas, new maps will be drawn up by Hayter Engineering, who drew up the 1999 maps.

While looking at accounts payable, Braddy drew the group’s attention to one charge, which was hauling tires from the dump. The price has gone up, he said.

“It caught us off guard,” he said. “We’re not charging enough at the dump to cover the tire fees. We’re sitting down and starting to do some math. It’s essentially here’s the cubic space of a dumpster, and what it costs, and trying to figure out to equate that however much you’re going to fill up is what you pay for.”

He said the city can’t continue to cover the costs, and the tires were only part of it. At some point it will have to pass that along to residents.

“We can’t continue to eat it,” Braddy said. “Right now every dumpster that leaves that dump we are putting at least a $100 bill in it, because we’re not charging enough to cover the cost.”

City Councilman Allen Foster said he might have a partial solution, at least to the tire portion.

“I believe there is a place, right south of Mesquite that actually buys used tires,” he said. “That might be something we look into.”

Braddy agreed to to make inquiries.

Kim Cox is the city editor for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6965 or at kim.cox@theparisnews.com.

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