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Hotel near new hospital closer to reality

A Hilton Home2 near the new Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi has moved a step closer to becoming a reality.

During its Monday evening meeting, the board of supervisors granted the hospital a partial release of right of first refusal for property located at the corner of South Lamar Boulevard and Belk Drive where the new hospital is being constructed.

As part of the agreement between the county and the hospital, the county must receive the right of first refusal for property associated with the new facility, according to county attorney David O’Donnell.

“The hospital has reached agreement with a hotel developer to develop a hotel,” O’Donnell said. “The developer wants to build a hotel on that corner to serve the hospital and families visiting patients.”

O’Donnell said the property was approximately 38,000 square feet.

Supervisor Mike Pickens voted against the request.

In September 2014, the Oxford Planning Commission approved a new 94-bed hotel on the site, geared toward extended stay families of patients at BMH-NM.

At the time, developers presented for approval the Hilton Home2 hotel to be constructed on the site with a height of 55 feet.

In other matters during Monday’s board meeting:

— Lafayette County will pay a homeowner about $1,000 for two large oak trees removed from private property. Pickens was not exactly certain on which road the trees were removed, but they were in his district and off of Highway 6.

— Supervisors received a bid of $222,389.60 from Lehman-Roberts paving company in Batesville for the County Road 202 project. The engineering estimate for the project was $199,105.50.

County engineer Larry Britt said said the bid was11.69 percent over the estimate. “Which is a little high, but not as high as I thought it would be,” Britt said.

The supervisors decided to reject the bid and reprogram the project, which will be revisited in the spring.

— The supervisors approved contract documents for the new fire station No. 2 project.

“Everything has been executed and the bonds are in place,” county engineer Larry Britt said.

The county fire department will also receive MSWIN radios and a 2015 Ford F-150, valued at approximately $26,000. The vehicle will replace a 1992 Ford Explorer and have the capability of towing needed equipment, as well as transport fire personnel, according to Lafayette County fire coordinator Jerry Johnson.