Missouri company to advise Vicksburg on the selection and design for a sports complex

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VICKSBURG, Mississippi — The city of Vicksburg has hired a Missouri company to advise it on the selection and design of a site for a sports complex.

The city will pay JCI Holdings LLC of Sunrise Beach, Missouri, $9,025, to find a site. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the contract Friday, The Vicksburg Post reported (http://bit.ly/1B12Okjl ).

Under its agreement with the city, JCI will examine, analyze and evaluate three different properties under consideration for the multi-purpose sports venue.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said the JCI contract will be the last money the city spends on a sports complex until it gets direction from the Legislature "as to how we can fund this project."

The city and the Warren County have asked the Legislature for a 2 percent food and beverage and hotel tax levied either in the city or the city and the county to finance the project. They also want approval to lease property to a private company to develop the park and lease the land back to city.

The sports complex has been in the works since 2003. Flaggs, a former state House member who's in his first term as mayor, said the city has spent $3.2 million with nothing done.

"This thing can't linger forever. We can't keep pumping money into the ground," Flaggs said.

The city is looking at a complex on 270 acres of land that included baseball and softball fields, 15 soccer fields, 10 tennis courts, basketball and volleyball courts and a multipurpose building with indoor pool.

Flaggs said the $9,000 for the consultant "is, I believe, the best investment for the city, because we are (going) beyond political and personal opinion about our sites. We need professional people to come in to advise us from here forward. I think it makes sense for us to make this investment today."

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