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franklin county times

Supervisors send Nicholson back to school board

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
June 3, 2003
The Lauderdale County School Board is expected again to hear from Meridian developer Morris Nicholson again this month about his proposal for a new retail business.
Nicholson has repeatedly requested help from Lauderdale County supervisors to gain access to the Ring Road around Bonita Lakes Mall because he says he has a business prospect eager to build on nearby property.
On Monday, supervisors directed Nicholson to request access from the county school board because the mall property is leased 16th Section land the school district owns.
Nicholson, however, refuses to name the prospect. And at least one Lauderdale County supervisor doesn't blame him for that.
District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell has been an advocate for Nicholson, bringing motions before the board to support Nicholson's efforts and organizing meetings between Nicholson and East Mississippi Business Development Corp. officials.
EMBDC President Wade Jones said Monday that CBL Associates, the company that owns the mall, is opposed to having other developments so close to the shopping center.
Jones said he is only aware of one exception where a business was allowed within the road around a CBL-owned mall and that was for a hotel.
Nicholson spoke to the county school board last month. Board attorney John Compton said he would look into the matter to see if the school board could grant Nicholson's request.
Lauderdale County School Superintendent David Little said Monday that the next school board meeting will be June 19 at 5 p.m. in the Lauderdale County Courthouse annex.
Boswell, however, said that he believes the board of supervisors has the power to obtain the access for Nicholson through eminent domain, should it decide to do so.