Article by Madeline Pyle
At last night’s meeting of the Independence County Parks and Recreation Committee, Mark Lamberth, the CEO of Atlas Asphalt, asked the committee to consider bidding in the auction of 19 acres of property along Ramsey Mountain at 556 Batesville Blvd. The committee ultimately motioned to bid in the auction this Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Lamberth said that instead of risking the property being bought and used for a service station or trailer park, the county could purchase it and turn it into a park or trail.
“We need to secure this for generations to come, and I think Independence County is the vehicle to do it,” he said.
Dale Cole of First Community Bank was present and said the bank would pledge $5,000 toward the bid. Cole added that other community members would be willing to donate as well.
Lamberth also noted that the property is technically not in the Batesville or Southside city limits, and the property “could be a great step to join the two communities together.”
Judge Robert Griffin said that since the committee was the only county body meeting before the sale, their commitment, plus the support of an additional Justice of the Peace would allow the county to move forward.
In other news, Selina Wallis, director of the Independence County Senior Citizens Program, shared she will have to continue to cut funding for the program. Wallis noted she has cut her hours, and another employee has agreed to retire at the end of the year to save money.
The program delivers meals to homebound seniors citizens, operates activity centers for the seniors, provides exercise programs, and offers transportation services.
The committee later agreed to grant the program additional funding for the coming year.
Other business included the committee determining what grants to fund for the coming year. After reviewing all applicants, the committee agreed to fund $217,017 in grants.
The committee will present the budget for approval at the next quorum court meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Image via Wilson Auctioneers
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