By Janet Jacobs
The Y-shaped property at the intersection of Business 45 and U.S. 287 has been sold, and the Corsicana City Council will be asked to accept it as a donation on Tuesday at the regular council meeting.
The donor is Mayor C.L. “Buster” Brown.
Brown purchased the property at a tax auction. His purpose is to clean up the property, he said.
“That was one of the most egregious spots, I thought, and the Strategic Planning Group’s initial focus was on the 287 entrance on the south side into town, and that was certainly a major part of that,” Brown explained, referring to the group of entrepreneurs and civic leaders trying to clean up the city’s image and encourage development in Corsicana.
Brown paid about $50,000 for the property.
The donation will be submitted to the Corsicana City Council for a vote on Tuesday. It’s the only item on the city council agenda, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the Corsicana Government Center, 200 N. 12th.
For years, a car lot was located on the lot. More recently, it has been a car storage yard for a towing company.
Since 2007, the property has been sold twice at various auctions, and early this year the city condemned the old blue metal buildings, and had them knocked down.
Getting that particular property into the city’s hands has been a long-time goal, said City Manager Connie Standridge.
“We’ve wanted to improve that intersection for a long time. This will help us finish the project,” she said. “For the purpose of developing an attractive public place so that when people come into Corsicana it will be a well-groomed, well-maintained intersection.”
Two years ago, the city was told by a marketing expert that it would be difficult to attract new businesses because of the city’s various ugly entrance points. Since then, the Strategic Planning Group has worked towards creating policies that encourage clean-up by private property owners.
Brown said the donation was the result of a “good year” in his business in 2008.
“It was kind of a windfall, and I thought it would be a good thing to do, so I just bought it,” Brown said. “The city council has to approve accepting the donation, but then the parks department will do with it what they can. It’s already improved a whole lot because Connie made a deal with someone to tear those buildings down, and that didn’t cost anything.”
Brown said the property is partly in a flood zone, but would still make a nice public space.
“That thing had been exactly like that for years,” Brown said. “I remember buying cars there when I was 20 years old.”
Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Janet Jacobs
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