Ward, Wallace save Confederate Memorial Park funding

Published 7:17 pm Friday, April 20, 2012

Sen. Cam Ward and Rep. Kurt Wallace worked together this week to stop attempts to take funding away from the Confederate Memorial Park in Mountain Creek.

Other legislators wanted to redistribute that money elsewhere.

“Not only is the Confederate Memorial Park a part of our heritage as Alabamians, it is a tourist attraction for families traveling throughout the state,” Ward said. “The park brings tourism money to our county that is essential to our families’ livelihoods.”

In the Alabama House of Representatives, House Bill 610 would have taken 80 percent of the funding from Confederate Memorial Park and redistributed that money to five other parks, according to Wallace.

“It would have completely destroyed the park and forced it to close,” said Wallace. “We have some hard choices to make in our state budgeting, but cutting tourism dollars for Chilton County is not a choice we are willing to make. Our heritage and our way of life must be defended.”

Confederate Memorial Park is funded, in part, by a property tax that was once used to support Confederate veterans and their wives.

The tax was also used to operate the Alabama Confederate Soldiers’ Home, which was located on what is now park grounds. The veterans home closed in 1939.

According to an Associated Press report from July 2011, the tax brings in more than $400,000 annually for the park.