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Petersburg changes allow for downtown revamp

Posted on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 9:03 am

The approval of two zoning ordinances in Petersburg will allow for the revamping of two buildings and construction in the downtown area.

Corey Smith, Petersburg planning commissioner and alderman, presented the third reading of Zoning Ordinance 2013-2. This is re-zoning for the Cecil Blocker property and amends three properties on Church and North High Streets. It will combine three parcels into one lot in the business district and amends the property map.

Officials approved the final reading of the ordinance.

Smith additionally read a second zoning ordinance, 2013-3, which will change the zoning on the east side of the public square and the north side of the public square, combining two parcels owned by Cecil Blocker for the purpose of construction. This was the third and final reading of the ordinance.

Smith appealed to the board to thoroughly read Ordinance number 2013-4 before the first official reading was approved. The document amends the flood plain ordinance. Additionally, it regulates development within the corporate limits of Petersburg to minimize danger to life and property due to flooding and to establish eligibility for participation in the national flood insurance program.

Smith explained that the ordinance could “cause a hardship on insurance.”

He encouraged the board to read the 22-page ordinance through before they voted on it. Another official mentioned that the only legal requirement for the first reading was for the reading of the first paragraph which is a condensed description of the ordinance. 

Alderman Barbara Woodward made a motion to accept the first reading; Don McLaine seconded the motion, and the remaining board, with the exception of Smith, voted to approve it.

“No, I don’t accept it, but I’m outnumbered,” Smith said.

According to one official, Petersburg is in the process of applying for a $500,000 grant, and part of the requirement for the water grant is to do a 100-year look-back on the flood plain. According to Angie Taylor, town recorder, no one living in those areas has ever been affected with a flood.

“This flood plan concerns some of them,” she said.

During the Petersburg Water Department report, Jack Atchley explained that bids would open Oct. 22 for the Community Development Block Grant project. The $194,000 grant, matched by $6,000 in Petersburg funds, will be used for water system upgrades, improvements to the water storage tank and to the water distribution system.

Work on the project probably won’t begin until early 2014. Atchley said it would probably take 120 days for contractors to complete the work.

In other action, the board voted to have the wire harness of a police vehicle replaced at a Columbia dealership. The Dodge Charger also needs brakes and pads, rotors, and other repairs.

Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department received permission from the board to share an Internet signal with the Petersburg City Hall. A fire department representative stated that the department would purchase the equipment necessary to get the signal. Officials approved the request.

Though they will share the signal, the fire department will not have access to the city hall’s records, and the city hall will not have access to the fire department’s records.