Franklin business looks at move to Highland

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Staff Writer

Highland could be booming in the near future with talk of a popular area business relocating to Highland.

Alderman David Harris told the council at the March 9 meeting that Bob and Bill Barnes, owners of B&B Supply in Franklin, are interested in moving to Highland.

Twelve acres are for sale on Big Creek Lane behind Southern Pines Realty, Harris said. The two men are interested in purchasing the site if the property, currently zoned as residential, can be rezoned as commercial.

"They want to build a multi-million dollar home improvement center," Harris said.

That area of the city is growing, Harris said. First National Bank of Sharp County has purchased the former Watson Dental Clinic property and plans to modify the building to accommodate a bank.

"This is a lot of business coming into Highland and it's only going to get better and better," Harris said.

Plans have been in the works to install a three-way stoplight at the intersection of Highway 62/412 and Highway 175 spur at the south entrance to Cherokee Village. With the possibility of the home center and plans for the bank, Martin Carpenter, CEO and chairman of FNBC's board of directors, has asked the city to work toward installing a four-way stop instead at that intersection.

Carpenter said the bank would be willing to pave 450 to 1,000 feet of Big Creek Lane if the city is willing to prepare the road for pavement.

Planning Committee chairman Richard Smith said the city currently does not have set road specifications.

"I would be very careful in letting the city do that street until we have some specifications on the books," Smith said.

The city is almost out of commercial property, Smith said. He said the city will have to rezone some areas if it wants to make room for more businesses.

"The area that B&B is interested in, we're going to look at extending that a little bit more because we are running out of commercial property," Smith said.

The sale of the property hinges on the rezoning, Harris said.

The road superintendent will work on setting specifications for city streets while the council will try to work toward installing a four-way stoplight if the land can be rezoned.

The council unanimously agreed to purchase a generator for the fire department. The purchase is estimated to cost no more than $650.

The council unanimously approved an ordinance establishing the new wards in the city. The ordinance and maps of the new wards will be filed with the county.

The city is continuing to gather bids for a citywide audit. The council agreed to approve the Nominating Committee's recommendations and appointed Russ Truitt and John Pendarvis to the Fire Department Committee. Alderman Clyde Fisher will also serve on the committee.

The council unanimously approved an ordinance establishing payment for the planned citywide sewer project.

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