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Thomson council discusses possibility of acquiring old box factory

As Thomson and McDuffie County continue to grow, there's an ever increasing need for a public meeting place that can double for private events, too.

Currently, the Thomson Depot, located on Railroad Street, is one of the only sites for such functions.

But that may soon change.

During last Thursday night's Thomson City Council meeting, the idea of possibly acquiring the old box factory, located off Black Street, surfaced. However, no action was taken, according to City Clerk Dianne L. Landers.

"It's just in the discussion phase right now," Ms. Landers said.

She explained that purchasing the old box factory would be a joint venture between the City of Thomson and the McDuffie County Board of Commissioners.

It has not been made public how much money it would take to purchase the old box factory.

In other business during last week's council meeting, members accepted the first reading of a new sign ordinance that recently was prepared by officials with the city's planning and zoning office.

The purpose and intent of the proposed ordinance is to provide standards that safeguard life, public health, property and welfare by regulating the location, size, illumination, erection, maintenance and quality of materials of all signs, according to a draft submitted by Mindy Carney, license and zoning administrator for the city's planning and zoning office.

"More specifically, signs have a powerful impact on the aesthetic environment of the community and it is the purpose of these standards to encourage an aesthetically attractive environment, while allowing sufficient opportunities for communications to serve business and to comply with federal, state constitutions and laws," the draft ordinance reads.

It was pointed out that signs create "visual clutter" and therefore should be regulated. "Signs can distract from the beauty of the neighborhood and lower property values."

In addition, signage associated with properties within the City of Thomson Historical Preservation District "must comply with additional guidelines placed on signing within the district.

"When the guidelines for the Historic Preservation signing are more restrictive than the sign standards, the Historic Preservation standards shall prevail," according to a copy of the draft ordinance.

Council members are expected to adopt the new sign ordinance in a future meeting.

Web posted on Thursday, May 21, 2009

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