Business move

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 22, 2011

County wants plans for move in Como

By Billy Davis

A Como scrap metal business is set to return to the Panola County Land Commission with better-drawn plans for moving its operation from the city limits across the street to the county.

Wirestrippers, LLC is seeking a special exception permit for a four-acre site in north Como, at the intersection of Compress Road and Lewers Drive. The site is already zoned for industrial use.   

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The business opened in 2010 on Railroad Street.

 DeSoto County attorney George Ready, representing the business, described it as a “scrap metal recycling business,” not a “salvage yard.”

The business is presently undergoing a name change to Earth Recycling, LLC, he said.

Wirestrippers co-owner Woody Welch told commissioners business “has exploded” the present site hence the need to expand to a larger property.

Welch, a Memphis businessman, fielded repeated questions about plans to screen the Compress Road site. Pine trees and privet shrubs would form a sufficient screen around the property, he said.  

Several commissioners also suggested Welch erect a fence, a request that Welch said he would comply with.

Welch politely objected to other suggestions that Wirestrippers construct a berm around the future site, calling that request a costly one.

Como Mayor Everette Hill told commissioners that Wirestrippers has responded to past complaints, including trash fall from automobiles and trucks that were parked near railroad tracks.

Thirty-five minutes into the public hearing, commissioner Sledge Taylor told fellow commissioners he has first-hand knowledge of Wirestrippers because he lives near the present business.  

“It’s horrible,” Taylor said of the present site.  

“They told the city they would keep it looking nice,” Taylor continued. “They do not have a good track record.”

“It looks terrible right now. I’ll admit that,” Welch replied.

Taylor went on to suggest that Wirestrippers should construct a fence on three sides of the new site.

After hearing Taylor’s frank descriptions of the present site, commissioners agreed to require Welch and Ready to return with a site plan for the Compress Road property.

“I think we should require it to fit in with the community,” suggested Danny Jones.

The commission voted to table the permit request until Wirestrippers returns for the April meeting.