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County Commission votes to purchase Exit 212 property

By Zachary Seifter/ Staff Writer

 

The Chilton County Commission approved a resolution that would allow the county to purchase the Ellison property off Interstate 65, Exit 212.

The commission voted 6 to 1 in favor of the resolution, with Commissioner Allen Williams being the only one to vote against it. Commission Chair Joseph Parnell and Commissioners Jimmie Hardee, Matthew Mims, Darrell Bone, Joe Headley and Randell Kelley all voted in favor of it.

The resolution was brought forth by Commissioner Mims. It would allow the purchase to be made so long as a list of contingencies are met. Those contingencies include a boundary survey of the property being done, a title for the property being written in the name of the county and for an agreement with the Alabama Farmers Federation to be signed off on for the Alabama Farm Center project.

Should any of these contingencies not be met, then County Commission will not close the sale, and the deal will be off.

Mims felt it was time for someone to make a move on the property. The City of Clanton had an option on the property that expired on March 20.

“We have kicked all cans down the road,” Mims said. “And somebody has to step up and have the spine and do what needs to be done for the 44,000 people in this county. It’s time.”

Commission Chairman Parnell emphasized in the meeting that the purchase of the property would not be done by the county to try and move on without the City of Clanton in the project. It would be purchased just so that the county has secured the property, but Parnell emphasized that Clanton is welcome to partner with the county in this purchase down the road should it choose to.

“I don’t want the city to think we’re running off without them,” Parnell said.

The cost of the property is $1.2 million. The land would serve as the entrance to the Alabama Farm Center. However, with the land being just over 10 acres, there will be other uses for it besides just an entry road to the Alabama Farm Center.

What other uses there will be for it have yet to be decided.