Board to take grazing lease bids

Staff Writer

The board that manages Clay County's almost 600 acres of industrial property near Yokohama plans to take new bids on grazing leases.

The four-year lease covers 472.8 acres split among five different tracts along Barton Ferry, Hazelwood and Cosby Corner roads near the Yokohama tire plant.

B. Bryan Farms currently has the grazing leases.

The Clay County Economic Development District voted this week to take new bids on the leases. Anyone interested can pick up information on the leases at the Clay County Chancery Court Clerk's office.

"It's not our property, it belongs to the taxpayers, and we have a responsibility to get the best price we can for it," CCEDD President Scott Ross said. "If some people are interested in it, we should give them a chance to bid on the grazing rights."

"One of our board members things prices have gone up on grazing leases so we will see," Ross added.

The leases only allow grazing and not the planting of crops, according to Chancery Court Clerk Amy Berry.

When it was first formed when the Yokohama deal was being negotiated and later when the plant was being built, the board met monthly. But with little going on now, it will meet just twice a year "unless something comes up."

"If Joe Max Higgins (Golden triangle Development Link CEO) comes running over with a deal, we can get together in no time," Ross said. "That's the call we all are hoping for."