Debate Over Auditing Farish Street Projects Continues - - Jackson, MS

Debate over auditing Farish Street projects continues

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

By: Warren Strain

Out-going Jackson City Councilman, Kenneth Stokes has called for an audit of the Farish Street Revitalization Project.

But, developers say Stokes' has confused two distinctively different projects.

And, according to project directors, the councilman's actions could be hurting more than helping.

"I wish Kenny would get his facts straight," said Farish Street Developer, David Watkins.

Developers say by this time next year, several clubs offering world-class music will be open in the Farish Street Entertainment District.

The project is funded with private money and loans from the state, all of which has been accounted.

As WLBT reported Tuesday, members of Jackson City Council called for an audit of the project, against the advice of their own attorney.

"My suggestion would be that if the council is concerned about this, you ask the Jackson Redevelopment Authority for this information directly and they certainly would have to provide it under the Open Records Act, but I would hope if you just made the request of them they would provide it," said Pieter Teeuwissen, City Attorney.

There are two projects, however, the entertainment district and the historic preservation district.

Several years ago, the historic district did receive about eight million dollars of grant money from the city.

"I know some local banks lost some money, I think there was some CDBG money that would have been city money and perhaps that's what the city council is looking at but from our prospective it doesn't have anything to do with our project. We're the entertainment district not the historic preservation district," said Watkins.

WLBT's attempts to contact individuals who in charge of the grants to the historic preservation district were unsuccessful.

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