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Willis Motel Sold

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Darla Dear was sworn-in by Woodville City Secretary Terri Bible to serve as temporary municipal court judge.  MOLLIE LASALLE | TCBDarla Dear was sworn-in by Woodville City Secretary Terri Bible to serve as temporary municipal court judge. MOLLIE LASALLE | TCB

By Mollie LaSalle
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WOODVILLE – A public hearing was held regarding the status of the Willis Motel property at 5:15 p.m. prior to the Woodville City Council’s regular monthly meeting on Monday evening.

Mayor Amy Bythewood reported that the property has been sold, “we have received an affidavit saying there is a new owner”, she said. The new owner, Tammy Berry had not been notified of these proceedings. There was a representative at the last meeting, and they asked for assurance that there was no demolition order at this time.

Wendell Jones, who has been identified as a project manager advised that he would provide a written plan within 30 days of the sale, which was finalized on Jan. 3. Bythewood reiterated what has been expressed at he las two public hearings, “It seems like we keep kicking it down the road, 30 days, 30 days.” City Attorney Brad Elrod added “they’re either going to present a plan at the next meeting that satisfies council, there is a time frame for that, or the city can move forward to get judicial clearance to demolish the building.”

Realistically, Elrod added, “if we move forward with demolition, it would take anywhere from six months to a year before we would get a final judgement from the court saying we have the legal go ahead to demolish”.

Bythewood added that “we took on the burden of making sure it was demolished appropriately, the issue came to light when the contractor we hired to do the demolition said he wanted dumpsters; the landfill has to be notified so they can come out and do an inspection. The property owner was going to have to have a inspection and handle it from that perspective. We have a building that’s been condemned, we are making sure that it’s appropriately rehabbed, or torn down.”

Jones felt like he would have a written plan submitted to council within 30 days, which would be Feb. 3. Basically, Jones has to have a written plan submitted to city council in 30 days, otherwise they are in violation of the ordinance.

In other business, Bythewood issued a proclamation in observance of Human Trafficking prevention month for January.

Council also approved the appointment of Darla Dear as temporary municipal court judge; she was then sworn in by city secretary Terri Bible, with her family in attendance.

Council also approved a preliminary replat in block 4 in the city of Woodville, the proposed Tubb subdivision.

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