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Longview acquires additional access to rodeo arena

By Angela Ward award@news-journal.com
March 22, 2012 at 10 p.m.


Longview residents should soon have easier access to the rodeo arena.

The Longview City Council voted unanimously Thursday to use eminent domain to acquire a parcel of land that will provide additional public access to the arena. The area consists of a parcel of about 14,300 feet that is known locally as Tex-Pack Street and is off Lake Lamond Road.

Rolin McPhee, assistant director of public works for the city, presented the motion to the council. He said it has been difficult to determine the legal ownership of the land, and thus the city has been unable to make contract with anyone claiming ownership of it despite good-faith attempts to do so.

"A lot of people seem to think the city owns this land already, but it's been privately owned and often unavailable as an access to the arena grounds," McPhee said.

In other business, the council heard from several residents who were concerned about issues in the their neighborhoods. Patrick Williams, who lives in Northcutt Heights, said he was having problems with builders who were parking in his yard and those of his neighbors. Dora Lee Bennett said her 14th Street neighborhood had flooded during recent rains and she had brought the problem to the city's attention previously.

The council also approved appointments to various city boards and commissions as part of its consent agenda.

Mayor Jay Dean thanked everyone who had applied to serve. He said this was the first time in many years when there were more applicants than positions available. Applications from people not selected this year will be kept on file and considered when future vacancies become available.

During council members remarks, Councilman Darryl Williams congratulated Gary L. Smith, who is the only candidate for the District 2 seat Williams now holds. Williams was unable to run for re-election due to term limits.

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