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Hillsdale property appears to be on verge of clean up

A public hearing was held during yesterday’s meeting of the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors on the property located at the Hillsdale exit on I-59. The property at #28 Hillsdale-Gumpond Road Lot 8 has been an eye-sore to the county for many years.

The property was a former gas station-convenience store, and according to County Code Enforcement officer Kolby Davis, the property is dilapidated and falling in, is a nuisance and has become a serious health hazard to the public.

During the hearing, local developer Mark Gibson told the board that years ago the property was sold in 7.5 feet wide parcels that were 150 feet long with 20 landowners. Gibson said that over the last year he has worked through the process of acquiring 19 of the 20 parcels with one outstanding. Gibson joked that the man holding out had heard a Wal-Mart may be coming to the area, but Gibson said he has convinced him that the property is not going to be the site of a Wal-Mart and they have an agreement in principle for the last landowner to sell the parcel to Gibson for an undisclosed amount.

Gibson said he agrees something needs to be there on the property, maybe a convenience store, in order to help attract people to the area. Gibson owns the property adjacent to the property and stated he owns some lots in the neighborhood, thus he wants to clean it up and make it look better.

Instead of the county having to clean up the property, Gibson has arranged an agreement with a man who will tear it down for the steel structure to be used to construct a barn elsewhere. Gibson said once the steel structure is removed, he will send someone in with a track-hoe to clean up the remains of what is left on the property and haul it away.

County Code Enforcement Officer Kolby Davis (left) and Mark Gibson

Board Attorney Joe Montgomery said the property must be cleaned up in 30 days or the county would clean it up. Gibson said he would be able to get the work performed in the 30 days.

Board Vice President and District 3 Supervisor Hudson Holliday stated, “A lot of people don’t realize the significance of this happening. We’ve been trying to get this cleaned up since 2008.”

Holliday said he appreciated what Gibson had done and was going to be done for the Hillsdale area and that he believes Hillsdale has a lot of potential for growth.


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