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City, county working together for Omni Drive
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Omni Drive might find a new home with the city of McMinnville. An agreement between city officials and county commissioners could split the cost of renovation, with the city adopting it after.
Mayor Jimmy Haley says discussions between himself, Warren Count Executive John Pelham, County Commissioner Gary Prater, McMinnville Public Works director Bill Brock and Warren County Highway Department director Levie Glenn are promising for the street.
“What we are trying to do is reach an agreement between the city and county to get that road paved, bringing it up to city standards,” Haley said. “The county is getting the property deeded to them. We may have to split the cost with the county. Once it’s brought up to code, then it will be given to us as a city street.”
While the street is now located beside Cheer Mental Health, it cannot be found on either the city or county’s road list.  It was originally made by private developers on private property.
The road is on two pieces of private property, connecting Sparta Highway with Magness Drive. Brock says the entrance from Sparta Highway needs work done by the state in order to make the left turn from Sparta onto Omni more accessible.
“It was years ago when I first asked the state to cut the concrete island back towards the mall to allow people more of a turning lane at Omni Drive. They refused to do it. I’m asking, again, for that to be done.”
Tentative agreement between city and county: The street will be deeded to the county. After the street is brought up to the city’s specifications by the county, the city will adopt it and pay half the cost of renovation. Upkeep of the street will then be the city’s responsibility.
Vice Mayor Ben Newman says he is in favor of the agreement.
“We don’t need a street out there that is being used like a public street,” he said. “These businesses are on it. It’s beneficial to them, if the road is good. If it is good, maybe some of those offices will open back up.”
The cost of paving is estimated to be between $30,000 and $35,000, says Haley.