Today, the Canton City Council will discuss leasing vacant property that sits at the corner of Church and East Main streets for possible green space.
Canton Main Street Program Director Ginger Garrard said the city has approached the owners of the lot, David Cannon, Sr., John Fincher and Tom McLaughlin to lease the land for a “nominal fee.”
Garrard said everyone has been talking about what can be done to fill the conspicuous hole in the center of downtown and this “would be the simplest way.”
“We don’t want it to sit like that for 50 years,” she said. “We want it to look attractive. It’s a prominent corner in downtown and this would be a huge improvement.”
The vacant lot sits next to the Jones and Cloud Inc. Insurance building.
A fire broke out in the early morning hours of Dec. 26, 2009, at the corner of East Main and Church Streets across from Cannon Park.
The building at 101 East Main St. that housed Art 101 Gallery and Boutique on the first floor and the paralegal office of Wes Frye on the top floor was destroyed.
Also destroyed was the adjacent Taylor’s Jewelry at 111 E. Main St. and Cannon’s accounting office.
Those three buildings were razed and have been empty ever since.
Buildings that were damaged in the fire include Jones and Cloud Insurance at 121 E. Main St., which also houses David Lloyd Homes on the top floor; the Canton Shoe Shop at 140 E. Main St., in the basement of the Art 101 building; and the Mason Law Firm at 160 S. Church St.
The fire was caused by a failure inside a circuit breaker panel in the building at 150 South Church St.
John Fincher, who owned the building at 101 East Main, said he’s looking forward to see what the city plans to do with the lot.
“It’s something we can discuss,” he said.
Other items on the city council’s agenda include:
* Discussing project options at the city’s proposed Etowah River Park site;
* Discussing defined benefits for employees;
* Discussing revisions to the city’s knife ordinance;
* Reviewing an ordinance to amend the city’s food-to-alcohol ratio;
* Discuss a lease agreement to build a boat launch site at the Hickory Log Creek Reservoir;
* Discussing a master plan for Heritage Park;
* Discussing recommendations for water and wastewater operations contract;
* Discussing recommendations of the Stormwater Advisory Board;
* Considering a request by the Cherokee County Board of Education to return Academy Street as a two-way street; and
* Discussing a schedule to conduct work sessions for the fiscal year 2013 budget.