$22.5M for sports complex in special account

Published 7:12 pm Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A total of $22.5 million earmarked by the Board and Mayor and Aldermen for the sports complex has been deposited in a special city savings account, city officials learned Monday.

The deposit follows a ceremony Friday in which Mayor George Flaggs Jr. signed papers closing the loan, which will be paid off with revenue from the special 2 percent sales tax on hotel room rentals and food and beverage sales at restaurants that was approved by the voters in June 2017.

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“The money’s in the bank. We’re proceeding with the sports complex,” Flaggs said. The special account was opened to prevent the bond money from being combined with money in the city’s general fund.

According to information from the loan documents, the interest rate for the bond issue will range from a low of 2 percent at the start of the loan to a high of 5 percent by the time the 30-year loan is paid off in 2048. The annual payment on the loan will be about $1.35 million.

The board in January hired Sports Fields Inc. of Canton, Ga., parent company of The Sports Force, to design and build the complex on city property on Fisher Ferry Road south of St. Michael Catholic Church.

The plans are to have the complex, known as Sports Force Park on the Mississippi, ready by February 2019.

Under the agreement with the city, Sports Force will lease the site for the sports complex on Fisher Ferry Road from the city, build the facility and lease it back to the city, which will pay rent to the developer and allow it to recover its costs for designing and building the complex.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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