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Joe Hackworth, Mike Jemison, Judge Ed Tease and Ronnie Lane have a discussion at the Lauderdale County County Courthouse in Florence where an Agricultural Authority meeting was held Friday. [JIM HANNON/TIMESDAILY]

FLORENCE — The Agriculture Authority formally approved a resolution Friday for the purchase of some 85 acres as part of the proposed Lauderdale County Agricultural Event Center.

The authority called the short meeting for the sole purpose of the approval after the bank handling the $3 million loan for the property indicated the resolution would be needed to complete the loan, said state Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, who chaired the meeting.

"We had not officially adopted the resolution to purchase the property," Melson said. "The bank needs the resolution to close it."

Melson said the land was purchase from the B.M. Ingram heirs.

The authority previously purchased some 170 acres of property off U.S. 72 for $2.6 million for part of the ag center project. That land is between Smokin' on the Boulevard, which is at 4080 U.S. 72, and Beckman Marine Sales at 3714 Florence Boulevard.

The land that was approved Friday for purchase is just west of that location, Melson said.

The center is estimated to cost around $45 million, including a 10,000-seat venue that would double for concerts and other large events.

bernie.delinski@timesdaily.com or 256-740-5739. Twitter @TD_BDelinski

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