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Supervisors purchase 314 acres for proposed industrial park

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
By 5 p.m. today, the Lauderdale County supervisors expect the Lauderdale County Economic Development District to own about a half of the land needed for a new industrial park.
At a regular meeting Monday, the supervisors recessing as supervisors and convening immediately as Economic Development District trustees voted to pay $2.4 million for 314 of the 630 acres commonly known as Malone Ranch.
The parcel bordering U.S. 11/80 on the west side of the site is owned by Four-M Ranch whose sole member, according to County Administrator Rex Hiatt, is William J. Van Devender.
Supervisors have issued $4.25 million in general obligation bonds to pay for the purchase of property at Malone Ranch. They expect to approve the purchase of other industrial park parcels at their next regularly scheduled meeting.
Attorney Les Prichard told supervisors an AT&T fiberoptic cable running east to west on the property may have to be relocated. If so, he said the county will probably have to pay for it.
County Administrator Rex Hiatt said the cable will not be a problem unless the land is leased or sold for development, but District 3 Supervisor Craig Hitt had reservations.
District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell said the cable isn't a problem as long as there is no building there. The lot could even be paved for parking and would pose no threat to the cable, he said. Supervisors asked County Engineer Neal Carson what he thought.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors is Dec. 4 at 9 a.m.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@meridianstar.com.
In other matters:
On Monday, the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors also:
Approved a request from Tax Assessor Jimmy Slay to advertise for bids to contract for personal property assessments;
Approved the county payroll for Nov. 16-29 in a 3-2 vote, with
District 3 Supervisor Craig Hitt and District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell voting against it;
Approved a request by County Administrator Rex Hiatt to amend the Circuit Court budget by $25,000 to purchase new computer
hardware and software from PTS Solutions for $26,500 and
hardware from Infoworks for $8,060;
Accepted a bid from Nathan E. Daniels Roofing Company for $15,055 to re-roof the Lauderdale County Courthouse;
Took two bids under advisement for new doors to be installed in the Lauderdale County Courthouse one bid from Norman Enterprises for $13,700 and the other from Mississippi Paint and Glass for $19,381;
Approved a request by County Fire Coordinator Clarence Butler to advertise for bids on one or more firetrucks; and
Approved County Engineer Neal Carson's request to use county labor and equipment on private property to solve a drainage problem on Shiloh-Vimville Road.