The Neosho City Council designated a specific area of Big Spring Park as surplus property during the regular session Tuesday evening.

The Neosho City Council designated a specific area of Big Spring Park as surplus property during the regular session Tuesday evening.  
It's the area that includes the cross, a longtime local landmark that came under fire from the Freedom From Religion Group earlier this year.
The City of Neosho and the new owner, a private non-profit group, made it official on Thursday, when documents were signed.
Neosho Mayor Ben Baker released a statement about the change on behalf of the City of Neosho.
"Speaking as a representative of the City of Neosho, from the onset of this issue, it has always been my desire as Mayor to do everything I can to honor the requests of the citizens I represent,” he said. “But to also be fiscally responsible with every cent of taxpayer funds. I am not willing to plunge the city into a lawsuit that could result in paying out thousands, or millions of dollars of taxpayer funds for legal fees, which would not be a fiscally responsible decision. In fact, it would be extremely damaging to the financial stability of our city. Yet, I believe it is also my job as mayor to represent and defend the wishes of the people.”
The statement continued.
 “As you might imagine, sometimes that balance is an extremely difficult line to walk,” Baker said. “However, I do believe the measure we have passed tonight will be a solution that will satisfy both sides of this issue. As of tonight, the city has transferred ownership of the land in question to a private conservation foundation that will maintain and protect the heritage and historical value of Big Spring Park (which is very important to our citizens.) This action by the council will also address the complaint of the Freedom From Religion Foundation that the cross is on public land by transferring the land from public ownership to private ownership. 
“This action also takes into consideration the future of this issue and secures the majority concerns of our citizenry from future councils who may not have the same interest in preserving our cultural and historical heritage.I am extremely grateful that the council and I have been on the same page with this matter along the way and we were able to find a solution that will hopefully resolve this issue once and for all."