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Clay County buys port property

WEST POINT — Clay County has taken ownership of much of the Port of Clay on the Tombigbee River.

Former Clay County Chancery Clerk Robbie Robinson says that since 1984 the county has been leasing the land in five year increments. The final lease installment will end in October of 2015.

As the final lease date approached, the board of supervisors negotiated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which owned the property, and bought 20.28 acres for $203,000.

“We thought that was a little expensive, but the Corps would not budge,” Robinson said. “So we agreed upon that amount and will move forward with the process of purchasing.”

The 20.28 acres will be leased to Tom Soya Grain, which currently operates the port. Tom Soya Grain will continue operating the port under terms of the lease.

The lease with Tom Soya Grain will cover the cost of the county purchasing the land, Robinson said.

Tom Soya Grain pays the county for all commodities that flow through the port at 15 cents per tonnage. On average, the income the county receives through the operation of the port is about $23,000 a year.

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