Proposed Madison County park sparks controversy - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Bond hearing for controversial Madison Co. park postponed

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It's just land with a few of the trees cleared now, but Madison County supervisors want to make the property a recreational park. It's just land with a few of the trees cleared now, but Madison County supervisors want to make the property a recreational park.
Supervisors say it's too late to question the validity of the project. But that didn't stop residents from delivering a petition Thursday with more than 200 signatures opposing the park. Supervisors say it's too late to question the validity of the project. But that didn't stop residents from delivering a petition Thursday with more than 200 signatures opposing the park.
MADISON COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It's not all fun and games when it comes to a proposed park in north Madison County. It's called Sulphur Springs Park and is set to be built nearly 20 miles outside of Canton.

Friday morning Madison County Chancery Court Judge Cynthia Brewers was scheduled to hold a bond validation hearing for a $1.5 million bond to pay for the park. However, the Chancery Court issued an order of continuance for the hearing because the law states that if a written objection is filed--the hearing must be postponed.

"It asked in the paper if there was anybody who opposed to send a letter in writing to the board, well we instead of trying to do letters we just did a petition and got people to sign it that were opposed to it," said Joan Burns, a Madison County resident.

Residents delivered the petition Thursday with more than 200 signatures opposing the park.

It's just land with a few of the trees cleared now, but Madison County supervisors want to make the property a recreational park.

"We were looking for a location to be safe for ladies. Children can play and finally this piece of property came available and it had all the roads around it that made it safe," said resident Holly Ivy.

Sulphur Springs Park is slated to be 60 acres with an 18 acre lake, walking trail, softball and baseball fields, playgrounds and pavilions. But nearby residents don't understand why the location was chosen.

"It's very densely populated; there's not anybody out there. I mean there's people that live out there but there's no tax base there," explained Ivy.

Holly Ivy's family land runs adjacent to the proposed park.

"Yeah, it runs deep with me because it has been in my family for generations and it will be in my family for generations," Ivy said.

Among their concerns, is that leveling of the land will cause their property to flood.

"If the Madison County supervisors think that they're going to drop an 19 acre lake in a 60.05 park, on top of my momma and it keeps me from building a house out there one day. No it's not going to," said Ivy.

The supervisors plan to pay for the park using a $1.5 million urban renewal bond but Ivy is worried maintenance costs in the future will mean money out of taxpayers' pockets.

"Eventually you're going to run out of a bond because it's like they've stated we'll try to stay in budget. So what's going to happen when you run out of the bond?" questioned Ivy.

Supervisor Paul Griffin says they have a long term plan and taxpayers shouldn't be concerned.

"It will be another thing that's added to the arms of Madison County for Madison County. This would be another tax that will not be increased," said Supervisor Griffin.

The county is still waiting on permits to be reviewed by the Corps of Engineers. But Supervisor Griffin says he hopes they will be approved in the next two weeks.

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