DeSoto County parks board awaits countywide 'green' blueprint, wants public's ideas

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HERNANDO, Mississippi — The DeSoto Recreational District Commission has endorsed and sent to the Board of Supervisors for final approval a management agreement for Lake Cormorant Park.

The Commercial Appeal reports (http://bit.ly/Vyj1LF ) the action comes as the commissioners make ready to receive a comprehensive countywide "green resources" blueprint and public involvement.

The operations pact was drawn up by commission counsel Tony Nowak for Lake Cormorant, one of the seven parks overseen by the recreation panel. Under the accord, the North Mississippi Lady Tigers will handle management of the park.

Meanwhile, a management agreement for Robertson-Donald Park is still in the works, said Larry Jarrett, parks and greenways director. "Facilities there are being used and fees charged; there's just no management deal yet," he said at last week's commission session.

Jarrett said he expected to have a management arrangement worked out by the next meeting, Sept. 9.

A plan to seek tennis courts for Eudora Community Park appears off the table for now, so a scaled-down plan calls for a pavilion, more benches and bathroom facilities: "Budget constraints seem to be driving this," said commissioner Lee Ashcraft.

Jarrett estimated cost of a pavilion and picnic-type tables underneath at about $35,000. Although the recreational district has its own budget — more than $400,000 in fiscal 2014 — the supervisors set the budget and have final OK of any district expenditures.

As to a trail at Fairview Park, Jarrett said federal funding through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks awaits review by the Chickasaw Nation's tribal council, tasked with determining if a trail would disturb any culturally or historically significant areas.

During fiscal 2014, the commission got playground equipment installed at all parks except Hernando DeSoto, erected uniform signs and had landscaping work done. Commissioner Stewart Lott said all that was fine, "but why spend money on playground equipment when so many ball fields are in bad shape?" At Fairview, he said, the "infield is dug out" and need dirt.


Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com

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