He could have priced higher, but he didn’t. He doesn’t have to sell, nor does the county have to buy.

But, Billy Joe Polk said, “I was raised in Pittsburg County. They need it, I have it and I’m willing to sell it if they want it.”

Polk has given the Pittsburg County Economic Development Authority an option to buy 12.5 acres near the current county jail. If purchased, the land can be used for a jail expansion, as well as for a county animal shelter.

County commissioners, acting as the PCEDA, approved the $100 option in November, stating the option gives them the opportunity to have the land appraised and see if it will meet their needs.

Polk is offering the land to the county for $100,000. He bought it in 1994 from Geneva Crawford, according to county records. A revenue stamp indicates he paid between $24,501 and $25,000 for the land at that time.

“I’ve done a lot of work on it since then,” Polk said. “It was full of thorn trees, Bodarks (Bois D’Arcs) and stuff. I cleaned all that out. It’s my hay meadow now. It makes all I need.”

Commissioners have until May 15 to decide whether to buy the land. If they do, the $100 paid for the option will go toward the purchase price.

The land is actually divided into several parcels which are assessed differently, according to county records. One parcel has a building on it while another does not, but both are assessed as agricultural property.

Commissioners said they believe the land is a good value for the price and would probably work well for planned county improvements.

“The location is ideal,” said Randy Crone, District 2 commissioner. “It will put us close to the current jail and save money on transporting prisoners and things like that.

“It will also leave us lots of room for future growth.”

The land, if purchased, would be bought with money from a county sales tax approved in October.

The three-quarter cent sales tax is to be used to improve the county jail, build an animal shelter and pay for operating both.

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