Recreation not something to let wither

Published 12:06am Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Will the perennial debate over city and county recreation ever get solved?

Members of the community have practically begged for action on improving the area’s recreational facilities.

Instead of action, however, the city and county have effectively played a war of words with one another over the past few years.

In the latest linguistic lobbing match, the city has said it will sign over all of the city’s more than $1 million recreation budget to a joint city-county recreation facility, but did so along with the public question: Will the county supervisors commit to ponying up $5.4 million to build a new recreation facility?

It’s as if they’re attempting to goad the county into saying, it will not fund recreation.

The county now says it will go “all in” with its whopping $50,000 per year recreation budget, relinquishing control to the recreation commission, too. In addition, the county has now agreed to fully fund a new city-county recreation director’s position for approximately $50,000 annually.

That’s an underwhelming move if you’re a member of the city’s leadership. Saying that $100,000 is equivalent to the $1 million isn’t fair.

Natchez-Adams County needs to improve the area’s sorely outdated recreation facilities.

For our community’s recreation facilities to move past its current 1950s state, city and county leaders must stop throwing jabs and figure out how to create a facility that is both modern and makes economic sense.

If a $5.4 million facility is too expensive, our leaders need to say that. If it is deemed too costly, surely something can be done to improve the current state of recreation.

Let’s get something on paper and something in a plan. Without that, we’re doomed to continue talking as our children’s ball fields and playgrounds continue to wither.