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Overton Budget Committee Rejects LA Stadium Plans

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Overton Budget Committee Rejects LA Stadium Plans

The Overton County Budget Committee voted against the proposed $8.9 million Livingston Academy sports facility.

Overton County Schools Building Committee Chairman Mike Hayes presented the 12-year bond payment option to the budget committee Tuesday. Chairman Darwin Clark said the plans are just too expensive when the school system has other needs.

“We have not done a lot of improvements for the schools at all,” Clark said. “We have done very few expansions in the past five or six years. It is a hard sale to the general public when you got that $9 million dollars they are wanting to spend on that football field.”

Clark said the school system falling below average in state scores also shows a need for more investment in academics. The budget committee told the building committee they would consider a stadium plan in the $5 million range. Hayes said he will review the feedback with County Budget Director Connie Hadynski and approach the board of education with a new plan.

“Our original proposal two years ago was around the $5 million mark,” Hayes said. “Since that transpired, we had community members that wanted to look at the track option, which that is where the cost went up. We had to buy extra land for that. We are going to go back and look at the option and look at the dollar amount and see what best we can benefit out of that $5 million dollar amount roughly. And still try to come back and push for a track.”

Budget Committee members Gregg Nivens and Billie Phipps both said they have received multiple calls from the public against the high price tag. Hayes said he has not heard any negative feedback about the plans. That after three public hearing were held last month.

“I kind of knew going into it that we presented the higher option, which is the $8.9 million option,” Hayes said. “Kind of knew there would be some feedback there. Personally, I have not had any negative feedback on it, but from the county I anticipated some.”

County Executive Ben Danner said regardless what is approved, movement for the stadium plans needs to happen soon. Danner said the county has a small window to count on the wheel tax to pay for the project without having to raise property tax.


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