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Board votes to buy 47.9 acres to use as part of USA Stadium

By Bill Short

Flag City LogoThe Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen adopted a resolution this week to purchase land currently leased for use as part of the USA Stadium complex.
Board members took the action Monday night during their regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Mike Caruthers and seconded by Alderman Hank Hawkins.
The motion was passed by four affirmative votes, with Aldermen Larry Dagen, Frankie Dakin and Thomas McGhee absent.
Millington is currently leasing two parcels of land consisting of approximately 47.9 acres that it uses as part of the USA Stadium complex. But for several years, the city has been attempting to acquire the land.
The resolution states that the owner of the parcels, Millington Realty Partners 1 LP, has agreed to sell the land to the city for $345,000.
It also notes that the city can use Capital Improvements Program dollars budgeted for paving the stadium parking lot to fund the purchase and repair the lot.
The resolution authorizes Mayor Terry Jones to execute all documents necessary to complete the purchase.
During discussion shortly before the vote, City Attorney Charles Perkins noted that City Manager Ed Haley had an appraisal done on the property. He said the appraised value was presented to the owner, who accepted it as the sale price.
Alderman Bethany Huffman said that, because the property will be purchased “outright,” that also “frees up” the land that the Millington Industrial Development Board had agreed to “swap.”
When Hawkins said the purchase is the result of “a long process,” Caruthers noted that it had been “in the works” since Richard Hodges was mayor.
Hawkins said he wants to make sure that the city prepares a “comprehensive usage plan” for the land and implements it.
“I think it’s long overdue,” he said. “We need to get the community involved, as well as the Millington Arts and Recreation Department. Let’s put this land to the best use possible.”
Caruthers recalled that, when the city had a Sports Authority, it proposed “numerous things” to do with the property.
“But we didn’t own the land, so we couldn’t do anything,” he acknowledged. “So, we probably need to regenerate those.”
Jones and Caruthers agreed that the purchase “opens up” a lot of opportunities for the city to apply for and obtain grants.
Hawkins expressed appreciation to the mayor and all the men and women who were involved in the negotiation with the owner.
“Hopefully, we can make good use of this property as buyers now,” he concluded. “We don’t have to worry about the lease agreements, and we can put some roots down over there.”

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