Sticking to an agreement
July 23, 2001
Lauderdale County supervisors were right to approve $3 million for the county's share of downtown renovation project costs associated with The Grand Opera House of Mississippi and the Riley Center for the Performing Arts. How a $3.7 million figure ended up in formal documents concerning the sale of bonds last week is anybody's guess.
But the additional $700,000 in the documents quickly caught the eyes of supervisors Craig Hitt and Ray Boswell. And, in turn, they were quick to demand that their colleagues stick to the original deal. The original $3 million was approved.
The Meridian Star has been a consistent supporter of these projects and continues to believe they hold the promise of helping the city redevelop its downtown. The possibility of visitors and area residents coming back downtown to work, shop, live and be entertained is enticing. The commitment of the Riley Foundation, the city and county, Mississippi State University and all of the players involved is to be applauded.
But, as in any aspect of a good-faith business deal, you can't have someone changing the terms at the last minute, just as the documents slide across the executive desk. How that happened has yet to be fully explained.
Suffice it to say supervisors were right to stick to their end of the deal.