Magnolia Street house to become bed and breakfast

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, May 11, 2011

VIDALIA — For more than a week, Vidalia officials have been bombarded with calls and concerns regarding the current situation with the Mississippi River, and Tuesday night, the Vidalia Board of Aldermen got a brief, but much-needed, break.

The aldermen and Mayor Hyram Copeland had their regularly scheduled monthly meeting, where concerns over a change of variance on Magnolia Street stole the show.

Vidalia City Attorney Jack McLemore said the owner of a house on Magnolia Street is trying to change his house’s status from a single family dwelling to a multi-family dwelling so that it can be used as a bed and breakfast.

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The house is in poor condition, and Copeland said the city has had problems with the owner starting projects and not finishing them in the past.

A resident from Magnolia Street was present at the meeting and said that she did not want to see one of the prettiest streets in Vidalia stuck with an unfinished home.

McLemore said the owner has already applied and been approved for a $50,000 loan to begin the project that would turn the house into a bed and breakfast that would house one couple at any given time.

McLemore said before any work can be done, the owner must meet before Vidalia’s variance committee to be approved for the change to a multi-family dwelling.

Copeland said due to the city’s previous issues with the owner, a time limit will be given to the owner to complete the project.

“If he does not get the project done, we will take the proper action,” he said.

In other news:

4 The aldermen voted to approve a new after-school program for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The program, Concord Youth, is a non-profit and is looking to start next school year.

Concord Youth representative Windell Millicks said the program will monitor students for the first nine weeks of the school year to view their strengths and weaknesses before the tutoring begins.

4 At the end of the meeting, the mayor and the board of aldermen all praised the efforts of the city for preparing for the high water levels.

“These gentlemen working at the riverfront and on the levees have all worked extremely hard, and they have gone above and beyond anything we could have asked for,” Copeland said. “It is amazing to see the work they have done at the riverfront, getting everything up and protected in one week’s time. That is an achievement.”

Copeland said he is still confident the levees will hold, and if there is any emergency, there will be plenty of notice.

“We are making every plan we can for the people of Vidalia,” he said. “We have continually met with the (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) and the reports are still the same.”