The discovery of old milk bottles on the site of Mobile County’s proposed soccer complex is making the project more expensive and is slowing it down.
“No one knew there was a dairy farm there,” said Mobile County Environmental Engineer Bill Melton. “But we did discover some milk bottles that are around 6o years old, so they are a ‘cultural resource.’”
Federal guidelines require further examination of these ‘cultural resources’ on the property off Halls Mill Road before the Army Corps of Engineers will sign off on permits needed to move the project forward. The extra archeological work will cost the County an additional $55,000.
“We have proposed a grid every ten feet and will dig about 450 holes,” said Melton. “That will determine if this site qualifies to be put on the National Register of Historic Places. I don’t think it will go there, but we have to go thru the due process to make that determination.”
The County was hoping the Corps permitting process would take a maximum of six months. It is now at eight months, will take a minimum of an additional two to three months to complete.
“It seems that this particular site is being scrutinized to the max,” said County Commissioner Connie Hudson who has spearheaded the project. “I’m not sure it makes a lot of sense sometimes to go out and spend extra time and money to evaluate what appear to be remnants of an old dairy farm, but that’s what we’re required to do and we will move forward.”
Hudson says once the permitting process is complete, it will take at least another year to complete the purchase of the property and construct the soccer fields.
According to the County, the dairy operation was called the Breezy Pines Dairy Farm and was purchased by Barber’s and shut down some time in the mid to late 1950’s.