Montgomery VFD Fire Chief Doug Latham originally requested the land on September 10. Latham said that the substation would decrease homeowner insurance rates in the area, noting that insurance providers considered homes to have no protection beyond a five-mile radius of the fire station.
At the December 4 session of Fiscal Court, County Judge/Executive Stan Humphries said that a stipulation on grant money from the Department of the Interior required all Complex land to be used for recreation purposes only, but sought a variance in the stipulation. He said that Field Representative Michael Pape of the office of U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield had been in contact with the Secretary of the Interior and called the county’s chances “more than average.”
“We got word that it is not going to happen,” said Terrell. “I don’t know all the details, but was told that we can’t do anything with the land unless it is for recreational purposes.” Terrell added that the county might not be allowed to widen roads at the Complex, but thought there may be an option of replacing grounds by purchasing property elsewhere. He said that the grant money, of an unspecified amount, could be repaid to the Federal government to repay the stipulation.
In other business, Complex Director Jerry Radford said that he had been approached by the organizers of a major raccoon hunting event to use the Recreation Complex as a staging area, possibly in 2009 for a hunt. He said that the hunt could boast between 500-1,000 participants for a two-day event.
Board Member Thelma Fowler expressed concerns that the Complex’s septic capabilities could handle so many people. She said that the usual rental fee of $150 for the Complex would not be enough for an event as large as this. She suggested raising the rental fee to $1,000 for a large, for profit event such as a raccoon hunt.
Another member of the board, Scotty Hampton said that the Complex could provide additional portable lavatory facilities.
Board Member and Secretary Kerry Stewart discussed hunters coming to the area in campers and recreational vehicles, and asked about the possibility of providing utilities such as water and electricity at the Complex if the hunt became a reality and for other events such as livestock and horse shows. “As close as we are to the interstate, we could advertise this.”
Stacy Futrell of the board said, “If we do not have electricity and water, we will not have big events. We can make a large amount of money, but we have to have the facilities to do it.”
Stewart added, “If the Complex begins to grow, we can add facilities as we grow.”
Carolyn Bland said, “We need a recreational architect to help us with our planning before we spend another dime. It would be the greatest investment we could make.”
Earlier in the meeting, the board heard from Agriculture Teacher Jody P’Pool, Goat-er-Done Club President Cindy Taylor and Parent Jesse Frye about the potential use of the Complex as a venue for youth livestock shows. Futrell asked the three to attend the meeting to provide input on facility improvements needed to host events.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.