Reader wants to see skin in the game for a sports complex

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 12, 2014

A tax payer funded Recreation Complex should be is a non-starter. If the recreation committee really felt the sports complex was a golden opportunity they would have skin in the game. By that I mean investing their savings and retirements, developing an investor funded financial plan, and recruiting executive management with public experience; I was thinking Mayor Winfield as mentor and CEO and Shelby Ashley Palmertree as Chief Financial Officer, they should be released before too long. It goes without mention the abortive first sports complex effort wasted millions on a landfill.
Vicksburg and Warren County simply cannot afford the $20 to $40 million, plus interest, say $50-plus million dollar debt. It borders on asinine to think that a county where 70 to 90 percent of the public school students receive meal assistance at school can afford a grandiose playground.
According to the US Census Bureau Warren County has a population of about 48,000, 25 percent are under 18 leaving, potentially 36,000 to bear the debt burden. Now 14 percent of the 48,000, are over 65 years old and presumably fixed-income economically challenged Medicare and Social Security recipients. This reduces the burden bearers to about 28,000. Now 23 percent of the county’s population is below the poverty level, of the 28,000 left, to this point, only 21,500 warm bodied, potentially taxpaying souls remain. However, given that 80 or so percent of the public school parentage cannot afford to feed their progeny one might suspect that might leave maybe, at best, 10,000 residents to pay the tab for a sports complex. Keeping the arithmetic simple $50,000,000 divided by 10,000 is a $5,000 liability for each tax payer.
I read in the Post of the widespread support for a sports complex but have yet to see any mention of investment or donations. What is needed are “businessmen and civic leaders” rolling in dumpsters overflowing with cash. Too, the referenced pastors and ministers should be passing the platter and donating their tithings to the program. Let’s see some major skin in the game.
Jon Duke

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