Private buyer may get land library wanted

By Carlie Kollath Wells/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Lee County Library may lose out on its first choice of property for a new location in Fairpark.
The Tupelo Redevelopment Agency on Wednesday granted a request from private landowners – Tommy Morgan, Joey Hutto and Richard McCarty – to subdivide the lot into two lots.
In a letter from Tupelo-based The District Group, Hutto wrote, “We have recently had interest shown in our lot from a prospective purchaser. They like everything about it but the size. It is someone we feel would be an asset to the Fairpark District.”
The lot is on South Commerce Street and faces City Hall. The renderings of the new library are situated on the site.
McCarty, reached after the meeting by phone, said the prospective buyer is not the Lee County Library, which is in the process of designing a new location. McCarty’s architectural company was hired to do the designs. He said he fully disclosed his financial involvement to the library board at the very beginning.
He said the library also isn’t ready to buy property right now, either.
But, Wednesday’s action does not involve the library, he said.
“The potential buyer for part of the site is not the library,” he said. “If that happens, it won’t be available” for the library.
He said the renderings were done on the land behind Hodges Orthodontics because that was the library’s first choice. However, he said, a number of sites have been proposed.
John Oxford, chairman of TRA’s board, said the Lee County Library still has not made an official presentation to his board.
“No one has contacted us officially from the library,” he said.
carlie.kollath@journalinc.com