The Searcy City Council decided Tuesday night to purchase a piece of property next to the Searcy Sports Complex for $275,000.

Searcy Mayor Kyle Osborne made the proposal at the council’s meeting Tuesday night hours before Searcy voters rejected the city’s request to issue up to $14.195 million in capital improvement bonds to make major changes to the sports complex.

Osborne said as a result of the purchase of the property, the city would be able to add more parking at the sports complex. An exact number of spots is not yet known. “Numerous more parking spots and a large warehouse” would be the gains for the city, he said.

Councilman Chris Howell, who has spearheaded the efforts to revitalize the sports complex, said he thinks anybody who has been at it during youth baseball season knows the issue with parking. He said the fact that this would allow for the city to clean up that property is also a positive part of the property purchase.

Osborne said that storage units on the property are basically an eyesore for the sports complex. He said that concrete blocks and dirt from the site would be used to fill in the old city pool on Moss Street and perhaps to fill in the pool at the Searcy Athletic Center, the site of new Searcy Public Library at the intersection of West Beebe-Capps Expressway and Skyline Drive.

“We have a large steel warehouse there [at the property being purchased] that we could allow the sports complex groups to use to store their equipment and get rid of all those old white box trailers down there,” Osborne said, adding that he had been talking to the owner of the property, James Bond, for a month about selling it to the city.

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