With so many delays in construction some residents have begun to question if Walmart is really coming to Yazoo City, but the company is slowly moving ahead with its plans.
Walmart is expected to ask the Chawla family, the owners of the property where the store is planned to be located, for another 90-day extension on closing on the property. Without the extension the closing date would be before Oct. 30.
“What they’re doing is asking for an extension that would push the date back to Jan. 30,” Wayne Morrison, who is serving as project manager for the Willie Morris Parkway construction, told the Mayor & Board of Aldermen Monday.
Morrison said he has talked to Walmart’s attorneys, and Walmart wants to have everything lined up to begin construction when the company closes on the property.
“They have all the agreements in place to close on the property,” Morrison said. “What they want to do now is bid the project and get hard bids on how much money we’re talking about so that in January they’re sitting there with all the permits that they need, all of the land deeds have been made, and they are sitting there with the bids in hand so they know how much all of it is going to cost.”
Morrison said he also expects Walmart to ask the city to ask for an extension on its building permit. Walmart has already paid around $8,000 for half the cost of its building permit, which will expire in December.
Mayor Diane Delaware said it should come as no surprise that Walmart is moving at its own pace.
“Walmart is one of the biggest companies in the world,” Delaware said. “The path is completely cleared on our side. If anybody ever thought that we were controlling Walmart, well those are interesting thoughts is all I can say.”
Morrison said work in moving along with the parkway, and another crew has joined the job to speed things along.
Heavy dust due to dry weather and traffic issues have been continuing problems. Morrison said that a second water truck has been brought to the site in an effort to help control dust, but the effects are limited.
Ward 1 Alderman Ron Johnson complained that he doesn’t think enough local people have been hired to work on the parkway.
Work is also under way on Canal and Mike Espy streets. Milling work, which involves stripping the existing asphalt to be recycled for the new surface, began Monday.
Morrison said he expects the project to be completed in about three weeks.
In other business during Monday’s meeting:
* Johnson nominated Joseph Thomas Jr. for the Election Commission. More nominations will be accepted at the next meeting.
* Ward 3 Alderman Rev. Gregory Robertson nominated Joe Freeman to the Planning & Zoning Commission. Johnson nominated Mary Wilkinson.
* Delaware nominated Jamie McCoy for the Parks & Recreation board.
* The board approved spending $14,000 on holiday street supplies.
* Phyllis Haynes said she expects several thousand to attend the Antique Days Festival on the grounds of the Triangle.
* The board approved an order for Chris Gaugh and Andre Lloyd to attend Mississippi Municipal Service Company’s Litigation Body Armer for Law Enforcement on Oct. 29 in Grenada and for Jeff Curtis and Jay Winstead to attend the same training on Nov. 19 in Hattiesburg.
* The board approved an order for Sheila Scott with the city clerk’s office to compete application for notary public change of address and to include fee.