Ecru resident expresses concern over change in downtown area

By Sandra Priest
Special correspondent

Presiding over his final board meeting for the town of Ecru, Mayor Tom Todd welcomed board members and citizens to town hall as he called the meeting to order.
On hand for their final month in their terms as aldermen were Bill Nance, Ivonne Whitehead, Ronnie Stephens, Pat Davis, and Charles Mitchell.
After approving minutes from previous meetings, as well as the claims docket and its addendum, Chuck Melko was recognized to address the board.
Melko expressed concern over recent speculation that a used car dealership might locate in the medical clinic parking lot in the downtown area.
Mayor Todd assured Melko that, although the town had been approached about this issue, it was no longer being considered.
The mayor went on to explain that, in fact, the possibility of re-opening the property as a medical clinic is now under consideration.
In other business, Mayor Todd revisited the need for an alternate site for storage for materials for the city.
Commenting on the current location, the mayor said, “They (property owners) have been letting us use that at no rent…now they want $300 a month to let us continue using it.”
He also mentioned a 1.8-acre parcel of land joining city-owned property that might be of interest to the town for storage purposes.
“It’s tied up in bankruptcy, and taxes haven’t been paid on it,” he said.
Mayor Todd also recommended that the incoming board consider a resolution to keep ad valorem tax revenues from Ecru streets and bridges instead of continuing to allow that money to go to the county.
According to the mayor, revenues last year from Ecru alone were $93,000.
Board members also unanimously passed a resolution granting Ashley Furniture an ad valorem tax exemption.
Even with these exemptions, Mayor Todd commented, “Ashley Furniture alone now pays more ad valorem taxes to the town of Ecru than all the private citizens put together.”