Business park to be named in honor of Warren Head

Palmyra City Council members approved a significant step toward attracting new businesses to town during their regular council meeting Thursday, Dec. 21.

City Council members unanimously approved a contract to purchase land that will eventually expand the city’s existing industrial area. Mayor Loren Graham said the area will be named the Warren Head Business Park, in memory of the late Palmyra resident whose sons worked with the city to sell the 81.2-acre tract of land at a cost of $10,000 per acre for a total purchase price of $812,000. Graham said the land is located in a prime location for businesses, noting that he has been contacted by businesses considering coming to Palmyra.

Graham said he expected to sign the contract on Tuesday or Wednesday, and he said city officials are determining how much of the payments will be made with cash and whether they will borrow funds for remaining balance. Graham noted that the contract allowed six to seven months before all the payments needed to be received.

The land consists of about 40 acres of tillable land and 40 acres of pasture, located east of the Marion County Highway Department building at 901 Industrial Drive and reaching north close to County Road 402. When the contract is complete, city officials are expected to annex the land and rezone it from agricultural to commercial, Graham said.

Graham said an existing road could be expanded to reach new businesses as needed, with help from the Palmyra Street Department. He said the city might also seek assistance from the Marion County Highway Department. He said he looked forward to future expansion potential that wasn’t possible before.

“We’ve had some opportunities in the past with some businesses that were looking to come to Palmyra, in manufacturing and other things, and we just didn’t have any land to offer them,” he said. “At least we have something to say, ‘We’ve got this land here, and we can sell it to you, and how many acres do you need?’”

The land is part of the Palmyra Enhanced Enterprise Zone, which provides personal property tax abatements for new businesses. Graham said existing businesses would be able to provide benefits, noting that new businesses that required trucking would be able to receive service, tires and other essentials from nearby shops. The land purchase comes amid infrastructure improvements throughout the Flower City — including construction by Street Department members and electrical system improvements.

In other business:

• Eric Shangraw of Area Disposal heard positive comments regarding citywide pick up of solid waste and recycling. City council members approved a request from Area Disposal to change the day for recycling pick up from Thursday to Wednesday beginning March 2018.

• City Clerk Deena Parsons reported that the court clerk’s office is now in city hall, and IT upgrade work is moving ahead successfully.

• City council members discussed ways to share information among Palmyra residents about the two proposed sales tax issues set for the April ballot.

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