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Lamar supes approve grant utility for Oak Grove tennis/pickleball court docket, settle for low bid

After discussing plans for the upcoming tennis/pickleball complicated close to Oak Grove Excessive College, officers from the Lamar County Board of Supervisors not too long ago calculated they have been roughly $900,000 in need of the funds required for that measure, which briefly put the challenge on maintain.

To assist treatment that, supervisors have accredited the appliance of a grant from the Asbury Basis for the completion of the power, which will likely be positioned on Warrior Drive, throughout from the entrance entrance of the college. A low bid on the challenge of $2.1 million additionally was accepted from Sports activities Contractors Limitless.

“Asbury has grants for wellness packages, and we consider the tennis (and pickleball) facility would match that,” Lamar County Administrator Jody Waits mentioned. “So the board has licensed us to use for a grant to assist get us over the end line with the funding that we have to end that complicated.

“The board, one factor they wish to do is to attempt to get the grant to assist end it. Of that ($2.1 million), we have about $1.1 million and a few change in-house.”

The complicated is a joint challenge between the Lamar County College District, the Lamar County Board of Supervisors and the Metropolis of Hattiesburg, which have all contributed funding. Earlier this month, supervisors quickly put the challenge on maintain, as that $2.1 million bid was decidedly greater than the $1.2 million initially anticipated.

Due to that, county officers started wanting into different technique of funding, and are additionally contemplating ending the courts earlier than coming again later to put in lighting.

“We’re additionally taking a look at our funding sources in our funds, and the precedence now we have for that funding, to see if there’s cash nonetheless obtainable inside our personal funds to assist at the very least get it completed with out the lights, presumably, after which get the lights completed at a second section.,” Waits mentioned. “We’re $900,000 brief to complete each units of courts and lights, after which after all there’s separate fundraising occurring to boost cash for the precise clubhouse facility, which might be altering rooms and restrooms.

“In order that’s the place we’re at. They’ve accepted that bid because the lowest and finest bid, however they’ve not but awarded that contract. We’re making use of for grants and we’re nonetheless making an attempt to type out our funds to ensure we are able to get the power constructed – and we really feel we’ll get that carried out; we have simply bought to do our due diligence and be good stewards of the cash, and ensure we have every part in line.”

Talks on the challenge, which is spearheaded by District 1 Supervisor Steve Lampton and District 4 Supervisor Mitch Brent, started in early 2021. When constructed, the court docket would be the first of its type within the Oak Grove space.

“We haven’t any public tennis courts within the Oak Grove space in any respect – none,” Brent mentioned in a earlier story. “Our highschool tennis crew, which additionally encompasses seventh grade by way of twelfth grade, they drive to Tatum Park each afternoon to observe tennis, and I do not suppose that is a really secure approach to do it.

We might actually prefer to have one thing on campus to the place they did not must make that journey on daily basis.”

The challenge is positioned on sixteenth Part land that’s owned by the college district. Initially, the plan was to have 4 to 6 courts on the complicated, however officers upped that quantity to eight to accommodate different members of the group along with the highschool.

In July 2021, officers had garnered greater than $600,000 – with some funds contributed by Brent and Lampton – which was about half the anticipated value of the challenge on the time. Brent mentioned he was prepared to begin the challenge then and there, and hopefully increase cash as the method continued.

“We really feel like as soon as we get began, we’ll have just a little bit simpler time getting some donations to assist from the personal sector,” Brent mentioned. “Additionally, we have some folks writing grants, making an attempt to get some grant cash to assist end it out.

“So it is transferring alongside, and it will occur – it is only a matter of how lengthy it will take to complete elevating the cash. The county goes to go forward and supply the labor and equipment to get that (space) cleared off and able to begin. Hopefully by doing that, we’ll generate sufficient curiosity to get some cash rolling in.”

Lampton mentioned he’s excited to assist convey the tennis complicated to Oak Grove.

“It is a good factor, as a result of we’re not duplicating services and all people can use it,” he mentioned. “We respect the partnership now we have with the college district; that is the one method we are able to actually make this work, as a result of they’ve the land.

“We bought just a little cash, they bought just a little cash, and we put our (efforts) collectively and we have been in a position to make one thing occur.”

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