McDonald’s may be coming to Poplarville

Published 2:48 pm Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A representative of McDonald’s met with city leaders last week and told them he would like to be fully permitted and ready to break ground as soon as the ink dries on documents closing the sale of the Highway 53 South property next to the Shell station.

But, McDonald’s will not conclude with the sale until the city completes a water line upgrade and the Pearl River County Utility Authority finishes bringing sewer lines down Highway 53.

Several weeks ago, it was brought to the board’s attention that the Pearl River County Utility Authority could not begin its sewer line project to extend down Highway 53 until it acquired all appropriate rights of way from property owners.

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With those issues now resolved, utility construction is under way but no time frame for completion of either utilty project has been released.

The city has already advertised its project for a water-line upgrade beginning at Balmoral Drive and extending approximately 1200 feet to the Coldwell Banker building just south of the Shell station. The upgrade will include an eight-inch water line and a fire hydrant at the end of the line.

The city will soon be getting bids to begin construction of the water line in hopes of expediting the McDonald’s building project.

The Poplarville city board also gave its approval to reduce McDonald’s number of parking spaces from 76 to 50.

A city ordinance required the fast-food restaurant to construct 76 parking slots because of its square footage. The restaurant normally has about 45 parking spaces. Aldermen said they had no problem giving the restaurant the parking variance to reduce its number of parking spaces to 50.

Mike Weaver, area construction manager for McDonald’s, said the new restaurant will be one of the company’s newer designs that seats 58 people and contain double drive-through windows. The 3,855 square-foot building located on 1.2 acres will not house a children’s playground, but will contain several electronic play areas for all age levels. It will also have free wi-fi and will be equipped with outlets throughout the eating area for plugging in laptop computers.

The restaurant is expected to bring with it approximately 80 jobs to Poplarville, which city leaders say is good news. The restaurant is also expected to be open 24 hours a day, a plus for college students boarding at Pearl River Community College and travelers along Interstate 59.

Mayor Billy Spiers said he is thrilled for McDonald’s to be coming to Poplarville.

Shirley Wiltshire added a lot of Poplarville children of all ages are anxiously awaiting its opening.

City leaders are hoping McDonald’s will bring with it more prospects for business. And now with the eminent water and sewer line expansions down Highway 53, aldermen are hoping the city of Poplarville will be more enticing to potential newcomers.