SUTHERLAND—A residential expansion in Sutherland is nearing completion as city leaders seek to finalize plans in the coming weeks.

The Williams property, a former farmland in the northeast part of town, has been divided into four lots for single-family homes. Hanging up is what to do with the remaining property not included in the four new parcels.

Economic Development Council Chair Sharon Flinders presented her report at the September 6 city council meeting. His group had met the previous week.

“In our discussion, we would like to put the finalization of the conspiracy of the Williams property on hold because we would like to arrange a full meeting between all members of council, all of economic development and the city attorney,” Flinders said.

She later clarified that the plot was good and the concern was what to do with the remaining land. It could be a continuation of the four houses already planned or it could be something new. Other details include whether or not to put a sidewalk at the new development.

Additionally, the Williams property may be put on the back burner as other housing-related items may be a priority. There are vacant properties around the city that Flinders called “rundown”, which the city could tackle first.

“There are several options of what we can do. We talked about different things as economic development,” she said. “It would be nice if we could have a meeting with everyone to make sure we’re all on the same page.”

Council members Chase Cox and Patrick Nelson sit on the development council, which includes Flinders and seven other Sutherland residents.

The rest of the council and Mayor Kay Gifford said they would attend the next economic development meeting – scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday September 28 at the RL Johannsen Center – to discuss housing options for their town of 630 people.

It will legally count as a special council meeting since state law prohibits a quorum to meet outside of meetings.

“I don’t think it will take very long. I think we’ll see where everyone is coming from for future options on the pitch,” Cox said.

The timing of the meeting will be well set for the next regular board meeting scheduled for Monday, October 3, when the board could formally approve what, if anything, is decided at the workshop.

This article first appeared in the September 17, 2022 issue of The South O’Brien Sun.