City's Hickory Ridge Plans Delayed Again

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A joint City Council public works and CIP budget committee decided today to postpone taking action on the proposed Hickory Ridge Mall sale.

The city administration wants to buy the concourse of the Hickory Ridge Mall -- damaged in a tornado last February -- for the new fire and police dispatch center. The facility could also house other municipal services and community groups, as well as pre-tornado mall vendors.

The purchase price would be $1.25 million, and the administration is asking for an additional $4.23 million this year for engineering and architecture.

Like two weeks ago, the committee was still troubled that it didn't know the true, total price of the project. City CAO Keith McGee estimates it somewhere between $60 million and $64 million in all.

Council members Reid Hedgepeth and Shea Flinn were also concerned about the city renting space out to mall vendors. Before the tornado, the mall had 33 vendors -- 13 of those have expressed an interest in returning. The mall's Sears store is still open.

To read more, visit In the Bluff.

Mary Cashiola

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