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Commission exploring another property purchase

By ZACHARY SEIFTER/ Staff Writer

The Chilton County Commission held a special-called voting session on Sept. 21, following a previously scheduled work session.

The voting session was called to discuss the potential purchase of another piece of property off Interstate 65, Exit 212. The property being discussed is land currently owned by the Central Alabama Horse Club.

The purchasing price for the property is $1.1 million.

There was a bit of hesitation to make the purchase, as there is some uncertainty on where things stand with the Farm Center project following statements made on Sept. 13 by Alabama Farmers Federation/Alfa president and CEO Jimmy Parnell.

“I’m very uncertain of how to move forward,” Commission Chairman Joseph Parnell said.

Other members of the commission shared that sentiment, so the commission voted to table the purchase until their next meeting. The vote was 6-1, with Parnell and Commissioners Matthew Mims, Darrell Bone, Jimmie Hardee, Joe Headley and Randell Kelley voting to table it until the next meeting. Commissioner Allen Williams voted against.

Parnell expressed optimism that there will be some clarity on where things are at by that time next week. Hardee, Kelley and himself have a scheduled meeting with Clanton on Sept. 23 to discuss the issues the two sides have had in coming to an agreement on water and sewage.

“I truly believe that by next week that these two entities can come to some kind of reasonable agreement to remove those obstacles from the Farmers Federation,” Parnell said.

During the work session, the commission discussed the new budget for the upcoming fiscal year. It will be voted on at the next meeting.

Also discussed was a couple of issues concerning the Industrial Development Authority. The issues were brought to the commission by Hardee. The first thing he brought up was that nominations needed to be opened up for two spots on the IDA board. Williams had expressed interest in becoming a member of that board, so that will be discussed at the next meeting.

Also brought up was the status of Bobby Cook on the IDA board. Hardee expressed concern that the commission did not take the correct steps to keep Cook on the board after it was reorganized when Clanton pulled out of the IDA. Instead of opening up nominations for his position and appointing Cook, the commission approved a resolution to keep him on the board.

The commission will look deeper into that issue, and will take the necessary steps to fix it if necessary.

The commission’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be on Sept. 28 at the Chilton County Court House at 6 p.m.