Magnolia Springs discusses future town complex

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 12/2/19

MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - Earlier in November, Magnolia Springs council made the decision to terminate a purchase agreement for a piece of property they were considering as a future location for a new town …

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Magnolia Springs discusses future town complex

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MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - Earlier in November, Magnolia Springs council made the decision to terminate a purchase agreement for a piece of property they were considering as a future location for a new town hall/library. The termination came when it was discovered during the due diligence period that the cost of renovations to the property would be higher than anticipated, and mold was growing along the complete underside of the building.

This prompted the council to ask: what’s next?

“We were all gung-ho thinking we might buy that property until we decided at a special council meeting not to do it, and then we left it at that, as we should have,” said Mayor Kim Koniar. “But we are leasing this town hall and we lease our public library … I think we need to start discussing do we want to keep leasing, or do we want to possibly build new?”

During the special council meeting, an architect was brought in who showed renderings of two potential future builds: one located at the schoolyard property adjacent to the current town hall, which is already owned by the town, and one located on a piece of property beside the schoolyard, on Gates Avenue. The asking price is $125,000 for approximately 1.5 acres. Building on either property would be followed up with traffic mitigation onto Magnolia Springs Highway.

“We could build on the schoolyard property and still have room for greenspace, or on the other hand we’ve got a very nice gateway with the property across the street from it,” Koniar said. “We could purchase it and build a new complex there which would tie in with the town center.”

Koniar voiced her desire to look into the purchase of the property on Gates Avenue, and it was voted for Town Consul Laura Coker to begin negotiations for a possible purchase agreement. Coker stated the importance of doing due diligence on the property to assess if there were any drainage or other issues that the town would need to address.

“I can envision the property being a very nice heart of the town,” said councilmember Ben Dykema. “It’s right here in the center of the town, beside the church, the Community Hall, the school property and whatever we choose to go there, the springs, and the arboretum; it makes sense to me.”

The purchase of a new property would leave the schoolyard greenspace available for a multitude of potential possibilities. During a town meeting in summer, citizens showed interest in keeping the schoolyard property as a greenspace, discussing the addition of a possible park, gazebo, and walkway to be constructed. Many councilmembers have also shown interest in leaving the space free for future concerts, festivals, and events.

Koniar stated while the town has a comprehensive plan, she’d like to begin drafting a master plan to determine where the town would like to go years down the line. She expressed to the council concerns of losing future grant opportunities; without a master plan in place, it lessens the chance of obtaining grants that could benefit additions to the schoolyard property as well as other areas of town.

To learn more about Magnolia Springs, check out their website at www.townofmagnoliasprings.org.