Debate brews over Rankin Multi-Purpose Center - - Jackson, MS

Debate brews over Rankin Multi-Purpose Center

RANKIN COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

They came out as advocates of the horse and agriculture community.

"We believe in it, we're gonna fight for it," says Deborah Tucker.

"These children are developing businesses from raising these livestock, developing value added products," says 4-H volunteer Debbie Huff.

They also came out as advocates of mainstream recreation, like baseball and soccer.

"That's positive net cash flow each year, just on indoor soccer facilities, between $115 and $153,000. We're thinking big here. I like the direction our Mayor has taken this," says Martin Polomo, who supports development.

Citizens dominated Thursday's Rankin County Board of Supervisors work session. They gave their opinions on the possibility of moving the horse and livestock aspect from the multi-purpose arena, which is located in the City of Brandon, to another location, and turning the county-owned facility into a sports complex.

Brandon Mayor Butch Lee says, despite opposition, if the county decides to clear it out and give him the authority to make it more profitable for his city, he will.

"The reason why is, nobody in Brandon has horses," he said, but his comment was met with laughter from the crowd. "Well, you've got a few scattered around but by and large, most people, 22,000 inside the City of Brandon," he added. "I can't go to the citizens of Brandon and justify spending money to operate a horse barn when a small number of people inside the city have that for recreation. It just won't work."

Supervisor Jared Morrison seems to support keeping the barn as-is.

"We talk about other land. Move forward. Build a facility like you want. We all think it's a great idea," he said.

To date, Supervisors have not voted on the issue. 

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