Saddle club wants Perihelion property

Published 12:09 am Saturday, October 24, 2015

Shown is a file photo of the Perihelion property in Opp.

Shown is a file photo of the Perihelion property in Opp.

The Perihelion property in Opp has been vacant since 2009, and on Monday night the Opp Saddle Club asked the city to put that property aside for the club in the future.

Susan Musgrove of the club said the organization is growing and they have fun days and jackpots and need a covered arena.

“We need an arena with a top on it,” she said. “We think the Perihelion property is a good place – not in the near future. We hope you will consider putting it aside for the Opp Saddle Club for the arena.”

Musgrove said at last month’s event, there were 70 competitors who came to Opp.

“The city won’t get rich on the arena, but you will see an economic impact,” she said. “The would be a step to put Opp on the map.”

Musgrove said a covered arena could allow the club to be a possible host site for the junior rodeo finals and high school rodeos.

The council didn’t give Musgrove any indication of what they would do.

Friday, Opp Mayor John Bartholomew said it was unclear what they would do with the property.

“We don’t know what the overall master plan will be,” he said. “We are working to determine that plan. We will have to see how everything goes.”

Bartholomew said he hopes to discuss it in either a future work session or council meeting in the future.

In January of 2009, the city of Opp dissolved its contract with Perihelion Global and all the land and permanent structures have been deeded back to the city.

The initial agreement gave Perihelion until Feb. 13, 2009, to build a manufacturing facility, employ 20 people upon completion and employ 100 people within three years.

The company was plagued with declining stock prices and a series of financial issues.

In September 2008, the Star-News reported power to the plant was disconnected and two local companies had placed liens against the company for non-payment.

Former Opp Mayor H.D. Edgar, who was mayor at the time the agreement was dissolved, said the property was bought for industrial purposes, but that it was in a no zone area, meaning the property wasn’t zoned for commercial or industrial.

“That means the council can do whatever they choose with the property,” he said.