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Council hopes audit will lead to monies for street repairs

The McKenzie Town Council is looking to an audit assisting in gaining funds for much-needed street repair.

Councilmembers discussed having an audit in order to be eligible to receive grant monies to repair the town’s worst streets. It has been a number of years since the town had a formal audit.

The council also discussed talking with the USDA post-audit about the possibility of building a mini shopping center to lease to local businesses.

“We have found out we don’t qualify for a dollar store,” said town clerk Tina Powell.

“Our town is too small.”

The council is still in discussion with a local resident who is interested in opening an auto body shop and convenience store in the McKenzie Industrial Park.

They expressed hopes to bring a small grocery store, a barber shop and other businesses to the town.

“I think we need to be seriously talking with people about this. People put us here to take some action,” said Melvin Shufford, mayor of McKenzie. “Let’s not just talk, let’s take some action.”

Shufford said a representative of the USDA had planned to come and speak to the council on special low interest loans for low-income homeowners for needed house repairs, but a vehicle breakdown prevented the visit.

“We will plan on having him here for our next meeting,” Shufford said.

With McKenzie Fest coming up this weekend, it was announced the streets downtown would be closed beginning at 6:30 a.m. Saturday with the festival set to kick off at 9 a.m. with crafts, children’s activities, concessions and live music.