The Booneville City Council approved Friday evening the vacating and closure of an alley to apparently clear the way for construction of a new Casey’s store.

They did so on a motion by Joe Earp and second by Brad Smith. Approval was by all six members of the council.

Running east and west between Main and Fourth streets, the alley is located between Holden and Welsh streets and is the back portion of the property on which the store is expected to be built.

Eddie’s Trading Post and the Probation and Parole department previously called the location home.

The city’s Planning Commission held a public meeting prior to the council’s special called meeting to handle the request Kevin and Mary Kimbrell by to close and abandon the alley.

Planning Commission chairperson Dottie Williams noted all three property owners located to the north of the alley had signed quit claim deeds and were not opposed to the request of closing the alley.

Mayor Jerry Wilkins said the closing of the alley is actually a blessing because the alley is overgrown and unsightly.

Wilkins said last week he understood the alley was a sticking point for the Casey’s officials because they did not want anyone driving behind their store.

Wilkins said it is his understanding the alley will be paved and a privacy fence erected on the northern edge.

The only question raised during the planning commission public hearing came from Booneville Water Department Superintendent Larry Maness who asked if a utility easement would remain in effect.

The ordinance passed by the council specifically reserved the city’s easements for water and sewer lines on the property.

Maness said the property also has gas lines and fiber optic cabling under ground. Those easements should not be affected either.

“We put these in to make sure there is no misunderstanding,” city attorney Johnny Williams said of the city easements.

Maness also noted the city would be installing a new sewer line on the property soon. Asked how long the existing line had been in place, Maness said since 1929.

Wilkins also said at this time it is likely last week’s special meeting may be the only meeting for the body in June because it doesn’t appear there will be any business to come before the council for a regularly scheduled June 24 (fourth Monday) meeting.