Local committee to help plan arts center
By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
March 22, 2001
With Gov. Ronnie Musgrove's signature expected in a matter of days on a bill designating Meridian as the site for a Southern Arts and Entertainment Center, officials say a local committee will be named to help plan the project.
After months of battling for the designation as the site, Smith said green light from the state means the "national" project can proceed.
However, Smith says more than just local input will be used to define the center. The input of state leaders and celebrities will also be sought.
Although the legislation authorizes no state funding, Smith says he's been assured by several state leaders they would work toward funding.
In addition to any state monies, Smith says other local money would be raised to help fund the center at the city's 175-acre Bonita Lakes site.
Smith said the state's congressional delegation has also been contacted about the possibility of building another interchange on Highway 45 to connect the art center site to the highway for easy access.
Smith says the city will cover the cost of water and sewer service to the site and the county has agreed to fund the initial road access.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.