Friday, March 26, 2010

Resaca Again

Well this is looking like a ping pong match, but I think this is the best course.

The following from the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Resaca rebirth
by Andy Johns

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 RESACA, Ga. -- A few weeks ago, Ken Padgett was ready to sound the bugle and retreat from Resaca Battlefield.

After 20 years of fighting, he thought he'd lost the effort to create a park at the site, where about 150,000 Union and Confederate troops waged war in 1864.

"We thought everyone was going to walk away," Mr. Padgett said, standing where the entrance to the park would be off Resaca-LaFayette Road near the Interstate 75 interchange. "We feel if that were to happen, (the park) was never going to happen.

"But a letter drafted by the Gordon County Commission and sent to the state Department of Natural Resources has breathed new life into the project.

Last Tuesday, the Gordon County Commission agreed to ask the state to get started on the 540-acre site with plans to expand it when state revenues pick up.

Under the proposal, the Department of Natural Resources would use allotted funds to build a road, parking area and interpretive trails at the site, according to Gordon County Commission Chairman Alvin Long.

The county would be responsible for maintaining the property, and an area for a visitors' center would be left clear so the state could build it when funds become available, Mr. Long said.

Kim Hatcher, a spokeswoman for Georgia State Parks, said building the road, trails, outdoor exhibits and restrooms is possible, but nothing has been agreed upon.

"We look forward to continuing this discussion with Gordon County," Ms. Hatcher said in an e-mail Wednesday.

Mr. Padgett and other local residents began raising the flag for their cause in the early 1990s, and the site progressed as far as a groundbreaking, an announcement from the governor and a $5 million bond issue.

Mr. Long said the state originally allotted $5 million for the park but diverted funds to another project. State officials have said that $3.7 million always was the amount slated for the park.

About $400,000 has been spent on surveying, and about $3.2 million now is left, according to the state.In December, after the state said it couldn't handle the project in the current budget crisis, the county voted to take over the site as a county park.

But soon afterward, local leaders said $3.2 million is not enough for the project. They worried that if the county couldn't build it at that price, the state might reallocate the funds elsewhere.

On top of that, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers required the county to reapply for permits to build in a flood plain, which the state already had granted. Getting new permits would have delayed the project at least six months, and officials want the park open for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War beginning in 2011.

"We've really been let down," Mr. Long said. "It's the best and only option we have right now."Mr. Long said he hopes the road and trails could be finished by the end of the year. There's no definite time frame for the visitor center.

The Department of Natural Resources "is skeletonized right now," Mr. Padgett said. "At least we have this."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Book by Robert Remini

To be a quality Civil War historian, whether it be the Army of Tennessee or any other Confederate or Union army, one must be aware of the events leading up to this great conflict. Robert V. Remini has written a new book concerning the Compromise of 1850, the Compromise that prolonged the war by a decade. This book is set to be available for purchase in May 2010. Please take a look at the preview on my Antebellum blog for further information.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Resaca Battlefield Update

More bad news from Resaca and one that concerned me since the State backed out.

From the Calhoun Times:

Resaca Battlefield project may be out of the question
by Lydia Senn

After months of debate, speculation and public scrutiny, it appears the proposed Resaca Battlefield project might not move forward.Gordon County Board of Commissioners Chairman Alvin Long announced during the March 2 meeting of the board that the project could be put on hold indefinitely because the current proposed location is in a floodplain.“You would think the state would know the Army Corp of Engineers exists,” said Long. The state did not check with the Army Corp of Engineers about project feasibility before making plans for a visitor’s center, a parking lot and walking trails, he said.Long said the project could take an additional six months and new plans for the facility would cost more than the $3.2 million the state had offered to turn over to the county for the project.Long said state representative John Meadows (R-Calhoun) is taking acquisitive measure to find out whether or not the funds awarded by the state to the county for the Resaca Battlefield project could be used in other endeavors.“What we are asking the state to do is spend that money on local projects,” Long said.While he could not point to any projects specifically, Long emphasized that the county is not guaranteed these state funds. If the state gives the county the OK to use the funds, he said, the money would have to be used on state-owned property such as an intersection.“We are certainly going to fight for it,” he said.

Of course a few questions come to mind, first of all why would you need to build the Visitor's Center there on the flood plain? At one time there was talk of using a period house in the town as the Visitor Center. Also, Im for a low impact battlefield, so a parking area near Hwy 136 and then walk in, see how the Pickett's Mill Battlefied for an example of this. The main thing that needs to be done is to get the site open for visitiors, you can do that simply with parking and trails, you dont have to have the VC yet, sort of the Field of Dreams approach, build it and they will come.