Report says gravel pit worth $1.7 million

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The 34 acres of unmined land surrounding the gravel pit on Viney Creek Rd. the Panola County Board of Supervisors tentatively voted to purchase for $500,000 will generate $546,000 of desirable gravel over the next 37-40 years, according to an appraisal report prepared for the board by CWK Associates of Birmingham.

Additionally, supervisors were told that other material mined from the pit, other than gravel, should generate another $1.2 million in revenue in the next four decades, making the total yield from the proposed purchase worth about $1.75 million.

Chuck King, who founded the firm, said he used boring reports provided by the county and data about how much gravel has been mined from the 46 acres the county has leased from property owner Nolan West since 2006 to make the determination.

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King told supervisors the boring reports were from holes made outside the 34 acres, but he felt confident the 34 acres holds at least the potential of generating 800,000 cubic yards of desirable gravel.

Because the boring tests were not completed inside the 34 acres, King said he could only classify the reserves in the ground as “probable” instead of the more sure “proven” designation.

Supervisors took the report under advisement and are expected to make a final decision about the purchase soon.

The supervisors were split 3-2 earlier when they agreed to the half million pricetag with John Thomas, Cole Flint, and James Birge voting yes. Supervisors Earl Burdette and Chad Weaver voted no, both saying the proposed purchase was too much money to spend without full documentation of how much gravel has been taken out of the pit in recent years.

Weaver and Burdette both noted that the pit has been operated with a weight scale and the true amount of gravel the pit has yielded is unknown. Neither agreed with King’s assessment of the property, especially the fact that boring samples were not taken on the actual land the board has been asked to purchase.