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Mounting Concern Over Adding 800 Acres To Appomattox National Pa - abc27 WHTM

Mounting Concern Over Adding 800 Acres To Appomattox National Park

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Appomattox Co., VA - The National Parks Service announced plans Thursday to add 786 acres to the existing Appomattox Court House National Park.

For those that think history has to be preserved far beyond the pages of a text book, this plan is the perfect fit.  But many think the plan would be valuable property lost to a cause already consuming a big chunk of Appomattox County.

Right now, the land is taxed revenue for the county.

"And you're not going to get a dime's worth of revenue off that property once it's conveyed to the federal government,” said George Bergdoll, an opponent of the expansion.

The National Parks Service is considering adding the 28 parcels, totaling almost 800 acres, to the Appomattox Court House National Park.

"You're talking about a county that's struggling to pay their bills and you're taking real estate out of the tax base and I'd guarantee you if you really looked at it, you'd find that tourism has not increased that much in this area,” Bergdoll said.

Bergdoll thinks the park is big enough.  He says in a county counting every dollar, a bigger tax base is critical.

"I just feel we've got to take a real strong look at it,” Bergdoll said.

The concern now falls to parcels like the one where the Robertson House Fight took place. There's a historical placard there to mark the site, but where the fight took place now sits the town's Walmart.

"It's a shame. That store could've been built many other places instead of right in the middle of the battle field,” said Don Jones.

Jones, a historian, is hoping another piece of this county's prized history won't have to be lost again.

"It's not what they do today that counts, it's six months, five years, 10 years down the road. If done properly, the tax revenues will increase instead of decrease,” Jones said.

The thinking is that a larger park, with added historical sites, would attract more visitors, and in turn pump more revenue into the county.  A study will be performed this summer to find the best additions to the park.  It will likely be years and will require approval from congress before any new land can be added.

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