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|Credit crunch thwarts West Monroe hotel project|
A hotel developer has backed out of building a Staybridge Inn near Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe.
The project's developer recently informed the city the developer had suffered setbacks due to the recent nationwide credit crunch and will sell the property to the City of West Monroe, according to Mayor Dave Norris. The city originally sold the property to the developer.
"He's said he doesn't believe he'll be able to build that project in a timely fashion," Norris told member of the West Monroe Board of Aldermen at the board's regular meeting Tuesday.
"So we had in the agreement that we could buy it back," Norris said.
Norris said the city had sold the property "at a good price" and said he expected the property could be resold at substantially better terms.
Aldermen also approved an agreement to sell three lots on Coleman Avenue to Habitat 4 Humanity.
Habitat will not buy the land immediately, but Norris said Habitat officials needed the agreement in place to pursue a grant to pay for the property.
Also, aldermen unanimously approved the first change order for work at the city's main water tank off Seventh Street.
Contractors requested the change to cover approximately $8,900 in unexpected expenses stemming from installing additional safety railing and a pressure relief vent at the top of the water tower.
Norris told aldermen the city had fielded a number of calls about "leaking fire hydrants." He said those hydrants were being left open intentionally to help regulate pressure on the city's water mains while the main water tank was inoperable.
Usually, the tank provides regulation via a vent at the top of the tank.
With the tank empty, however, Norris said opening the hydrants allowed the city to continue providing water to its citizens without busting water mains throughout the city.
Work on the main tank is expected to take another six weeks.