Peoples National Bank

Peoples National Bank building in downtown Paris

PATTONVILLE — The Lamar County Appraisal District’s request to buy the Peoples National Bank building in downtown Paris won’t survive another two no votes.

The Prairiland ISD Board of Trustees on Monday sided with Paris City Council and Chisum ISD in voting against the Appraisal District’s $650,000 request to buy the building at the corner of 1st Street SW and Grand Avenue, plus a parking lot to the west. Paris ISD’s Board of Trustees, also scheduled to meet Monday and discuss the matter, postponed the meeting because of lack of a quorum. 

Reno City Council voted in favor of the request last week. Three-fourths of the 12 jurisdictions the appraisal district serves — which includes the cities of Blossom, Deport, Roxton, as well as Lamar County and school districts of North Lamar and Paris Junior College, plus the city of Honey Grove in Fannin County — must vote in favor of the purchase and long-term financing for the request to pass. North Lamar ISD met last Thursday, but did not vote on the request.

Blossom City Council is scheduled to meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The request is an item on its agenda. 

A need for additional staff and a more taxpayer-friendly office to keep abreast of changing times has prompted the need for a larger facility, Lamar County Chief Appraiser Jerry Patton has said. 

The Prairiland board cited parking and the lack of structural reports as primary reasons for rejecting the proposal.

“I banked there for three years and never could find a parking place,” board president Michael Sessums said.

Prairiland Superintendent Jeff Ballard said the parking situation will only become worse because of plans to convert traffic around the square to two-way and to require parallel parking.

Ballard said he received several calls from older citizens concerned about parking. 

John Dunagan expressed concern about the lack of structural reports.

“It may be in fine shape, but we don’t know that,” he said. 

“It could go to leaking like the courthouse does.” 

 Last week, Patton said the building has a good roof and is structurally sound.

“They do need a new building because they are crowded there,” Ballard said. 

“They’ve been doing appraisals every other year but because of the state they are going to have to do them every year.”

Ballard said he would like to see a committee formed from the different taxing entities and appraisal district board to consider options and find an agreeable solution.

City Editor Kim Cox contributed to this story.

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at mary.madewell@theparisnews.com.

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