Leader Blues

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

TOP STORY >>Cabot annexation hitting roadblock

By JOAN MCCOY
Leader staff writer

The first step in annexing the Gateway commercial subdivision on Hwy. 5 into Cabot will be to ask its owner if he will come into the city voluntarily. The city wants the property because the area where it is located is prime commercial and industrial property, which brings in more tax money.

Owner Toby Troutman apparently wanted it to be part of the city 10 years ago but changed his mind when city officials insisted that he build to city specifications. The decision to ask if he might change his mind again was reached Tuesday night during a meeting of the Cabot City Council’s public works committee that was also attended by the mayor, and representatives from the planning commission and water and wastewater commission.

Those who attended the meeting discussed other options if diplomacy fails. But Alderman Ed Long, chairman of the public works committee, said he had known Troutman, son of Lonoke County Judge Charlie Troutman “since he was in short pants,” and it couldn’t hurt to try.

Unlike when Stubby Stumbaugh was mayor, the city and county are working well together. Troutman is replacing the one-lane bridges on First Street with culverts the city can afford, and the city is paying for a bridge and some blacktop on the new service road that will take shoppers from Hwy. 5 to the new Wal-Mart.