Lowndes County and Columbus Are Feuding Over The Soccer Complex

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – The fracture between the city of Columbus and Lowndes County may be a little deeper.

Once again, the dispute centers around community recreation and specifically, the soccer complex, in downtown Columbus.

Supervisors planned to talk about the vision for the county recreation department on Monday morning, but the item was removed and no action was taken.

City leaders are concerned, after being told the county wants to end the agreement to allow city teams to play at this soccer complex and create its own league.

County leaders say it’s not true.

“This situation, be it the soccer field, recreation, it’s got to stop,” says Lowndes County Board of Supervisor, Leroy Brooks.

Brooks says Columbus and the county are headed on a slippery slope.

The latest disagreement between the two, comes after city attorney Jeff Turnage, was told county parks director, Roger Short, was going to make a proposal to the board of supervisors in Monday’s meeting to start a county soccer league.

So, the city attorney asked the county administrator if it was true.

“Ralph said the county is going to take up a lot of issues on Monday, and Roger is going to talk about a lot of issues, but yes, the county did plan to take over the city’s soccer league.”

That prompted Columbus Recreation Authority Director, Greg Lewis, to write to the newspaper, expressing his concerns over what the city calls ‘alarming news.’

“Anything divided or duplicated is the worse, so I mean, it’s proven all over the state already, that every time somebody pulls away or tries to develop their own program, it divides the children up, you’re less competitive, you don’t have the numbers, and it’s kind of like, it’s always a disaster.”

Lowndes County Board of Supervisors President, Harry Sanders, says he takes issue with some of the things said in the letter.

“I just think the city got their feelings hurt about something and I don’t know what it is, but they, you know, they’ve got an agenda and I don’t understand it. The county is not the one who initiated any of this problem.”

Sanders also says everyone is welcome to play on the county-owned field.

“A week ago, on the 15th, we explicitly said that all citizens, Lowndes County, Columbus, New Hope, even other counties, could play on the field.

Sanders says at the next board meeting, the county parks director is going to lay out long-term and long-range plans for recreation county-wide.

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