Cattlemen’s Park gets

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 19, 2000

approval from U.S. Senate


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Sept. 18, 2000 10 PM

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby announced Sept. 13 the VA/HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee’s approval of funding requests for several Alabama projects and the cheers went up in Pike County.

Among the Alabama-related projects approved by the subcommittee was a $500,000 funding request for the Cattleman Park, a multi-purpose facility on Highway 231 between Troy and Brundidge.

Pending final approval by Congress, the Pike County Cattlemen’s Association and Foundation will be able move quickly into Phase II of the park project.

"We are tickled to death," said Mike Griffin, president of the Pike County Cattlemen’s Association. "This has been a banner year for the Cattlemen’s Foundation. We are very appreciative of the efforts and support of Sen. Shelby in making the Cattleman’s Park a reality for the people of Pike County."

In making the announcement, Shelby said the Cattleman Park and Convention Center will allow for the development of tourist and economic activity in the area.

"I am very pleased that my colleagues recognized the merits of my funding requests," he said.

The $500,000 will be used to cover the arena which will be connected to the assembly and convention hall which is Phase I of the project.

Funding for the 150 x 90-foot building had local, state and federal support, including a $468,000 low-interest loan and a $15,000 grant from USDA Rural Development.

Griffin said the assembly building was necessary to make the project financially viable.

"We realized the community would get more use out of the multi-purpose building than the arena," he said. "Through public use and rental, the Cattleman Park can become a self-supporting entity. So, the covering for the arena was scheduled for Phase II. Now, if Congress approves the budget and the president signs it, we will be able to go ahead with Phase II much sooner than we anticipated. We are all very excited."

Griffin said the arena itself was part of Phase I but a covered arena will make the facility a state-of-the-art.

"The benefits of a covered arena are obvious," he said, "from the standpoint of the participants and the spectators. Like I said, we are tickled to death."

The Cattleman Park and Convention Center has been a dream of the Pike County Cattlemen and Cattlewomen for eight years.

"The idea was conceived eight years ago and we took control of the project about five years ago," Griffin said. "We began seeking funding from public and private sources. We have had many individual contributions and many people have worked very hard to make this park become a reality. Now, we can see it all coming together and there is an excitement, not just among the Cattlemen and Cattlewomen, but throughout the whole county."

Griffin said it’s not too early to start looking toward Phase III which will consist of the construction of livestock barns on the property, fencing and the general development of the property.

He expressed appreciation to Shelby and to all of those who have made this year a banner one for the Cattlemen’s Foundation.

The assembly building is scheduled for completion in March and the arena (uncovered) will be ready for the Pike County Cattlemen’s Association PCA Rodeo Memorial Day weekend.