County to close on Parker Meadows property

The 48-acre Parker Meadows Property that has been in consideration for new county ball fields for the past several months will be purchased by Macon County.

The board of commissioners met Friday evening to make a final decision on the property, but the vote was not unanimous.

The meeting was called after questions were raised last week about the feasibility of developing parts of the land that are in a floodplain.

County Commissioner Ronnie Beale says those questions were answered and they can move forward with the project, “There were questions about filling in the floodplain, and do we have to fill where archaeological studies have been done and where artifacts had been located. We got those answered, and we can work around all those issues and there will not be an issue.”

Commissioners Ron Haven and Paul Higdon initially motioned and voted to decline the purchase, but that motion failed 2-3.

The commission placed an offer of $550,000 for the property last year, and Beale remains optimistic the county will receive a $500,000 grant from the Park and Recreation Trust Fund to offset the purchase price and development cost.

Beale says the construction timeline is uncertain for now, but the county is hopeful to open the park by summer of 2014.

“We look forward to developing this piece of property for the citizens of Macon County, for the youth and the adults that’ll be using it. Down the road, it will be something we can be proud of. We’re going to be good neighbors with those folks that live around there and keep them in mind as the construction begins,” Beale said.