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Wildlife park reportedly killing plans for Borden park after lack of action on abatement

May 28, 2019 - 19:01
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COLUMBUS--The future of a proposed wildlife safari park near Borden is in doubt Tuesday evening, after the park failed to secure a county tax abatement this morning. 

A representativce for Hitari Wildlife Park told the Colorado County Commissioners Court they would stop work on the park site at Borden and put the land up for sale if they didn't secure a county tax abatement. 

No motion was made to grant the park a tax abatement after a lengthy public hearing before the Colorado County Commissioners Court this morning. 

Dean Robicheaux, the owner of the proposed wildlife park, was not present at this morning meeting. Calls from the Citizen to his cell phone went straight to voicemail as of 6:45 p.m. 

Commissioners took no action after a public hearing during which the representative for the park could not conclusively answer basic questions including what animals would be at the park, how many people would be employed and what wages they would earn, and other questions. 

Too, residents living near the proposed wildlife park spoke out, many against it. A representative from the Columbus Chamber of Commerce spoke in favor of the park. 

Citizens living near the proposed safari park site this morning told commissioners that peacocks and other birds were already escaping from the park and on to adjoining property. 

Robicheaux, in an interview with The Citizen earlier this year, said the park was on track to open in the Spring of 2020. It is unclear exactly what work has been done on the site. A representative for the company told the Colorado County Commissioners Court that the some brush clearing had been done and some fecnes had been erected.