Future of burned playground still uncertain - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Future of burned playground still uncertain

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PICKENS, MS (WLBT) – Last year children flocked to a new Pickens playground built by a private non-profit organization.

June 10th it was destroyed by fire.

Tuesday parents met with the organization's board members to find out if the Holmes County playground will be rebuilt.

Children of the Pickens Youth Baseball Team played on the lawn of the MLK Association Community Center before a board meeting on the future of the burned playground.

The 10-month-old jungle gym stood near the center in Pickens until authorities said it was burned by juveniles.

The $50,000 play area was not insured.

Now the private non-profit organization must decide if it will use the remaining $165,000 to rebuild the playground or repair the community center.

James Polk is one of nearly 40 parents and children attending the meeting.

"We would definitely love to see that playground put back up there. The centerpiece was nice, but if they could get everything they had that they were gonna put on it, I mean it would be beautiful. We really need something like that for the community," said Polk.

A Pickens Youth Baseball Coach came to the meeting hoping to get funding for equipment for his team.

"The last seven, eight years I've been coming out of my pocket buying gloves, bats, balls myself. When the town of Pickens if I use my kids names as Pickens represent Pickens. I want Pickens to represent me," said Coach Terry Brown.

Only three of eight board members were present.

Holmes County Supervisor Larry Dennis was there and promised to provide funding for sporting equipment.

After reading bids on reconstruction costs for a new playground board treasurer Henry Simpson suggested a compromise in using the remaining funds.

"The compromise is that we'd use some of the money to do essential repairs on the building, the roof and upgrade the air conditioning system. The rest of the money would be spent on reconstructing the playground, but that's a promise not a vote," said MLK Board President Herman Edwards.

No action was taken.

The board hopes to have a quorum for a vote during the next meeting.

The MLK Association Board will meet again next Wednesday for a possible vote.

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