It pays to plan … properly

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 14, 2014

For the soccer fanatics of the world, the next three weeks are bliss. The influx of fans, advertising dollars and attention of hosting the FIFA World Cup are apparent as nations clamor over each other to host the tournament that’s held every four years.

Hosting the tournament often proves to be an economic boon for the nearly month-long competition. It is a testament to the role of sport within a larger, sometimes politicized context. As the tournament in Brazil got underway Thursday, some fans attending the opening match arrived to discover that their seats had not yet been installed. Poor planning for the previous four years is showing as Brazil’s government also deals with protests from locals upset at the amount of resources thrown at hosting the most widely watched sporting event in the world.

It is refreshing to see that our local leaders recognize the value of planning properly before building a recreation complex.

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On a smaller scale, being able to host statewide tournaments would be a boon to our local economy. However, the expenditure of $2 million during the previous mayor’s administration showed just how costly it is to start taking steps before planning.

Earlier this week, the City of Vicksburg’s ad hoc recreation committee said bringing in professionals who have helped build similar complexes around the state could keep the city from making costly errors during the early phases of the process.

“We need to bring in people who have developed facilities like Southaven and Madison and learn what they did and see what they can tell us,” said committee chairman Omar Nelson.

That prescience to think to include professionals is a good step to ensuring that money is not wasted.

“In the previous two administrations, we asked and asked for more money and were told to wait because we would be getting a new complex. They never gave us any money to make changes and to make the upgrades we needed.”

With a renewed focus on improving Vicksburg’s offerings, we are hopeful that the city acts upon Nelson’s recommendations. Our children, community and taxpayers deserve adequate and competitive recreational facilities. Here’s to hoping that they continue doing it the right way.