Tribune-Courier News Editor
DRAFFENVILLE – County represenatives are expected to be on hand Thursday at the auction of the former Peck Estate. Catching the eye of county planners is a parcel of land that could be used to develop a central county fairgrounds.
The Marshall County Park Board is expected to pursue the bid. The board had scheduled a a meeting Monday prior to presstime to discuss the issue.
The auction is scheduled to begin Thursday at 6 p.m. at Mike Miller Park. James R. Cash will be conducting.
“That was the Peck farm,” said Judge Executive Mike Miller. “Part of it borders the county park. We would certainly love to purchase it, but we’re limited on the amount of money we can bid on it.”
The county park is approximately 80 acres. It opened in 2000 after more than four years of development and currently offers many amenities not available at other facilities in the county, such as an 18-hole disc golf course and the Veterans Honors Plaza.
If the county is able to purchase the additional land, it would be able to expand upon another feature.
“The fair board envisions putting the county fair ground out there,” Miller said. “Our fair board has done an outstanding job putting on the fair here. And the city of Benton has been so gracious to let us use H.H. Lovett Park. But you don’t have a lot of parking or room to have a midway and events.”
Although federal dollars are drying up, the county could apply for funds to build an arena and grandstands.
Despite the plans, county leaders realize the property may be difficult to acquire. The land is located along the heavily traveled U.S. Hwy. 68 and is less than a mile from the Purchase Parkway.
The county also participated in another auction last week, successfully acquiring another parcel of land in Draffenville. County Attorney Jeff Edwards made the successful bid for $4,000. According to Edwards, the purchase price was two-thirds the appraised value of the property.
The land is adjacent to the Draffenville Community Building on Griggstown Road.