Purchase pending for old Paragould power plant

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

A property up for sale in downtown Paragould could have new owners soon.

If the city approves the purchase, Paragould Light Water and Cable will once again own the town's old power plant.

If that happens, it might be the last time anyone will own the decades-old building.

PLWC General Manager Darrell Phillips said they operated the plant from when it was built in 1938 until 1990.

"At that time, we put in another turbine generation plant at the facility we're at now," Phillips said. "It set there basically mothballed until about 2004, and then it was sold."

Phillips said some had grant ideas for the historic building.

"At that time, the owner was looking at putting a restaurant in and I guess changed his mind and sold it to another person," Phillips explained.

However, sometime between 2013 and 2014, a fire happened at the building.

Phillips said now, it's a safety issue.

"It's probably not repairable," he said.

If the city gives PLWC the go-ahead to purchase the building, they plan to say goodbye to the historic structure.

The decision to tear it down is something some hate to see happen.

"We've lost so many buildings in our downtown," Gina Jarrett said.

Jarrett, the director of Main Street Paragould, hopes a final decision is put on hold for a while.

"I would like to maybe have the opportunity to see if we could get private investors to come in," Jarrett said. "We're talking anywhere between 3/4 and a million dollars just to get it usable again."

Jarrett said she knows it's a tall order, but she's hopeful.

"That angel investor is out there somewhere," Jarrett said.

Until then, Phillips said their plan stays the same.

"The amount of money it would require, we don't feel like we could do that. We feel like we need to get a hold of it and clean it up since we owned it from 1938 to 2004," Phillips said.

Though the property owner accepted PLWC's offer on the building, the approval of the purchase must still go through the city council.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android