PICKENS, MS (WLBT) - For a third time Wednesday Martin Luther King Association Board members meet to determine the future of a playground destroyed by arson.
The $50,000 jungle gym was not insured.
The non-profit organization's board has met previously to decide if remaining federal funds will be used to rebuild it, but no action has ever been taken.
June 29th, a group of parents attended the meeting in hopes of encouraging the board to rebuild a recreation area for the children of Pickens in Holmes County.
They returned for this week's meeting where tempers flared when there was a possibility for another delayed vote.
"There's no reason why these kids should not have a playground," said Board President Herman Edwards during discussions on a motion.
Parents and children held signs demanding support for rebuilding.
Only three of the board's eight members attended the special meeting.
Board members finally approved reconstruction of the playground with all three present voting "yes."
The organization's president called the move "historic" for Pickens and Holmes County.
"In the past grants have been written for the kids of Holmes County. By the time the money trickled down to the kids, 90% of it has been stolen. Today, the board of the Martin Luther King Association voted to spend $150,000 toward building a state of the art playground," said Herman Edwards.
"The town needs this from the board. We don't have a lot of things that we need for the kids around here. It's a town that we need lifting up, and this playground and stuff will lift the kids up around here," said Pickens Youth Softball Coach Michael Levy.
In two weeks the board plans to meet with an engineer and the grant administrator to review bids on the playground reconstruction.
The board's compromise will allow up to $20,000 to be used to replace the community center roof and stove and upgrade the air conditioning system.
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