County looks to purchase property for new sports complex

The Macon County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday night to purchase 48 acres in Macon County for the construction on a new baseball/softball complex.

The board formally made an offer for $550,000 for the property at the former Parker Meadows Golf Course. The current plans call for an 8-field, double-cloverleaf complex with space for additional recreation facilities.

Several coaches and parents involved with Little League and Travel Ball spoke at the meeting urging the county to expand their facilities, “Twenty years ago this park we have out here was a great place, but everything has expanded and grown. Just in girl’s little league softball there we have 250 kids, and out of that we’re working on one field. My girls and Macon County girls need more space,” said Todd Ensley.

Others reinforced the economic benefits of having a better facility to host tournaments and other events.

“Every team that comes here for two days, they’re going to eat and buy gas here,” said Jamie Stiles.

Estimates indicate that with 350 players per tournament will bring at least four people per player means around 1,400 people in the county for two days–with an average of 12 tournaments a year.

Those speaking in support of the new complex were asked to stand

Economic analysis indicates that Macon County could receive an economic impact of over $6 million as a result of the new complex.

Board Chairman Kevin Corbin said the new facilities could open new doors for local businesses, “We as a government, are not creating jobs here, we’re creating opportunities for private enterprise to create jobs. Will people build restaurants and motels? We hope so,” Corbin said.

Commissioners say conditions are favorable for the state to reimburse half of the purchase price with the Park and Recreation Trust Fund.

There is also expected to be funds available to help develop the property. Commissioners expect to close the deal in December and could begin construction in early 2013.