Armory neighbors show opposition to city’s takeover

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, February 21, 2001

More than 180 neighbors oppose placing street departmentoperations at the old National Guard armory on Highway 51, but cityofficials say a decision cannot be made until they own theproperty.

At Tuesday’s mayor and board of aldermen meeting, armoryneighbor Shirley Johnson presented a petition with 186 signaturesof residents against a city move into the armory once the guard hasrelocated to its new facility on Highway 84. City officials,though, said it is not time to act and there has been no move to doso.

“The matter’s not ripe,” said City Attorney Joe Fernald. “Wedon’t own it (the armory property) yet.”

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One timetable estimate has the guard moving from the armory in30 to 60 days and then the city would have to obtain title to theproperty from the state. Fernald did not expect any action untilafter June, when city elections are scheduled, and any move nowcould be voided by the new administration.

Fernald said it took three to four months to give new armoryproperty to the state. He did not have an estimate on how long itwould take to get property from the state.