FRUITLAND — A request was made to revoke Fruitland resident Justin Sargent’s temporary hardship permit on Monday night following a brief discussion by the Fruitland City Council during its regular meeting. City Clerk Rick Watkins told everyone in attendance that he had just driven by Sargent’s residence and reports that “the RV is still parked there. He’s not there.”

In reference to Sargent not being present, Mayor Brian Howell said, “He doesn’t want to talk to anybody.”

The City of Fruitland initially granted the hardship in 2014 to allow a secondary residence for the purpose of allowing Sargent to be able to take care of eldery family members. Watkins said that the eldery residents have since moved, so the purpose of having this hardship is being reviewed as a result.

How long does an individual have to come into compliance once a hardship is revoked?

Watkins said that if a hardship is revoked, the unit in question must be removed immediately. The City Council will then schedule a time for removal at its next meeting, at which time the property owner will have the opportunity to explain why the hardship should not be revoked. Any actions to appeal beyond that will have to be done in city court.

In other news, Swire Coca-Cola does not want to pay for a new street.

The proposed construction of Northwest Seventh Street has been an ongoing issue between the City of Fruitland and the beverage manufacturer as of late. In a recent email statement issued from Swire, the company said it does not want to be responsible for funding the project.

City Council members said a grant would be needed if the city were to take on the project because without a federal grant, the city could not afford it. City Clerk Rick Watkins said the new street, Northwest Seventh Street, is located on Swire property, so an agreement between both entities is essential to move forward with the project. According to Watkins, with a new expansion, Swire wishes to keep employee and truck traffic limited to Seventh Street.

If no agreement is reached, however, the manufacturer said that it would seek a possible private entrance to their facility.

City Councilman Stuart Grimes asked, “What’s needed for the grant?”

Howell indicated that if the grant proposal was a joint venture between the city and a business that the business needed to get the necessary information to the city grant writer in time to submit by the deadline.

The council agrees that if this proposal is to move forward, there must be a signed agreement between the city and Swire.

City Engineer Bill Russell stated, a critical point “will be the funding.”

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