CLEVELAND — White County Commision Chair Travis Turner got straight to the point at Monday's commission meeting.
"Here lately, it's not normal for us to be able to open up a meeting with good news, [but] we've got some good news," Turner said, announcing that the state has deeded the 1,000-acre Yonah Preserve property to the county.
On January 23rd, 2013 the county entered into a 50-year lease of the property with the state.
Since then county officials, in particular Chairman Turner, have been pushing the state to release the property to the county.
Only a small part of the 1,000 acres is buildable, thanks to its hilly terrain, so the majority of it will be used for trails and other nature activities.
Still, the property has potential, said Turner.
"Because of that sheer size, we as a community must be diligent on how we use it, how we develop it and where we are going to go with it," said Turner.
The state did attach one string to the deal, though.
"The only caveat is we as White County use the property for the public good. You know, we can't sell it off. We're not allowed to do anything like that, but it is officially White County's now, which is phenomenal," said Turner.
Turner thanked Governor Deal and his staff for being very helpful in the process. He also acknowledged the help from area representatives.