Vidalia recreation moves forward

Published 12:21 am Monday, May 12, 2008

VIDALIA — After months of preparation, the City of Vidalia and the Recreation District No. 3 will sign the final papers to complete an intergovernmental agreement to purchase land for a new recreation complex.

The finalization will happen at the recreation district’s regularly scheduled meeting at the recreation center in Vidalia at 5:30 tonight.

“The city has typed up the intergovernmental agreement, and once it is completed we will go forward with the land purchase,” Recreation District No. 3 President Marc Archer said.

Email newsletter signup

In the agreement, the city and the district will buy two adjacent parcels of land, located near the Vidalia Wal-Mart, and the city will lease their parcel to the recreation district for development.

The total land purchase will be 50 acres, with the district buying 20 acres and the city buying the remaining 30.

At the price of $17,000 an acre, the recreation district will pay $340,000 for their purchase, while the city will pay $510,000.

The city’s part in the actual development of the land is going to be hands-off.

“We will lease it to the recreation district and they will pursue it for what they have in mind,” Mayor Hyram Copeland said. “If they need the city to assist them in any way, we will, but it will be mainly the recreation board as far as the direction of what the complex will be.”

Right now, the recreation district is limited in what they can do with the current Vidalia facility, located on 12 acres, Copeland said.

“Hopefully, through the years it can develop into one of the top recreation complexes in the entire state, and we can in turn have state and regional tournaments here,” Copeland said. “I think it is something that will benefit Vidalia as far as growth is concerned. Any progressive community will have outstanding recreation complexes.”

The recreation district is funded by a tax millage, and the city has previously dedicated sales tax funds to be generated by businesses on the Vidalia riverfront as their funding source.