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County approached for World Series support

Arthur Evans, Alabama Babe Ruth District Commissioner, requested $15,000 from the Marengo County Commission in support of the upcoming Babe Ruth Baseball 14-Year-Old World Series in August and the 13-Year-Old Southwest Regional Tournament in 2020.

“We’re looking at this as a two-year endeavor,” he said.

Evans expects the economic impact to be substantial for the region, with up to 800 people coming into west Alabama for the 25-game, eight-day tournament next month.

“From an economic standpoint, it means at least $1 million or more,” he said.

Other support throughout the county includes the City of Demopolis securing its role as host city with a $45,000 payment up front, various hotels in Demopolis adopting a $2 bed tax and the county’s parks and recreation department providing $15,000 over two years, of which Evans is seeking a match from the commission.

The world series will be played between 10 teams, one of which will be the Alabama state champions and the other comprised of West Alabama players selected across Sumter, Marengo and Clarke counties.

“We think it’s going to represent West Alabama and the community on an exceptional basis,” he said.

No action was taken at the time.

The commission also reopened bids for the proposed project that will turn the property on the corner of U.S. Highways 28 and 43 in Linden into a parking lot for the Marengo County Courthouse. The bids including demolition of two buildings located on the site, including an old gas station that the commission is considering purchasing should they move forward with the project, removal and disposal of the buildings and removal and disposal of underground gas tanks. Bids will be taken in August.

The bids were originally tabled at the June meeting following discussions about additional steps involved in joining the Alabama Trust Fund (ATF), which would enable the county to draw on state funds for cleaning should contamination occur.

Between the June and July meetings, both buildings on the property were assessed for asbestos, with minimal contamination found in one of the buildings and none found in the other. Commissioner Jason Windham also informed the commission that the old gas tanks on the property will need to be pumped out.

Other actions taken by the Marengo County Commission include:

• approving grant agreement for services for the elderly to fund the nutrition center in Dixon Mills.

• accepting the grand jury report.

• tabling nominations for board of equalization until the August meeting.

• approving the User Fee Certificate of Deposit at a 2.5 percent rate for 24 months at First Bank of Linden.

• using LED Solutions to commence updating the courthouse lights to more energy-efficient alternatives as the lowest bidder did not meet all specifications.

• approving a letter of intent to join a Hazard Mitigation regional plan.

The Marengo County Commission meets the second Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the courthouse in Linden.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, July 17 issue of the Demopolis Times.)