Category Archives: Parks

Terry Brown Ampitheater Looking Good, Could be Ready to Rock Within Two Years

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

The Columbus-Lowndes CVB Tourism Partners recently gave a preview of the (still under construction) Terry Brown Ampitheater to a number of its members. Pjase I of the construction was completed in 2007, but Phase II is still pending funding to the tune of $2.5 million needed to complete the project. It is hoped that it will be ready to rock by early to mid 2020.


City engineer Kevin Stafford provides details of the plans for the Terry Brown Amphitheater during a tour of the facility Tuesday morning. City officials hope the venue will be ready to for its first event in spring 2020 as they await $2.5 million in funding needed to complete the project. Photo by: Slim Smith/Dispatch Staff

The venue is planned to have a seating capacity of roughly 3,500 including seating for 1,800 on a grassy area, according to city engineer Kevin  Stafford: 1,100 hard-back seats plus a table-and-chairs area for VIP use and an open area nearest the stage that can be altered as needed for any given show.

Rep. Jeff Smith, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, said that they hope to receive enough state bond money to complete the project in the upcoming year, but it’s uncertain whether enough will be incoming to meet the $2.5 million goal. Mayor Robert Smith suggested that a 2% county-wide restaurant tax could provide $2 million annually for tourism and economic development. Per an existing resolution, $400 thousand of that could be used each year for parks and recreation.

As part of the joint resolution between the county and the city that will be used to craft the legislation, $400,000 annually would be provided to the city for parks and recreation: “We are going to be talking to our local legislative delegation about both the bond money and the 2-percent money,” Smith said. “We know there is going to be some bond money to help complete (the amphitheater). We don’t know if we’ll get the $2.5 million we need, but if not, the plan is to use some of the 2-percent money, which would be more than enough to complete the project.”

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Lowndes County Sportsplex Greenlit by BOS

LOWNDES – Courtesy of the Dispatch

A major quality of life improvement has now jumped one of its most important hurdles.

Lowndes County is executing a purchase of 89 acres of property west of Columbus it hopes to convert to a regional sports complex. The purchase price of $840,000 is $50,000 less than the land’s appraised value.

The Lowndes County supervisors voted to purchase an 89-acre parcel of land in the western section of the county to build a sports complex; the vote was unanimous, following a clearance authorization from the FAA in order to make sure that the new construction will not interfere with an existing nearby FAA facility. A buffer zone will need to be established at one end of the property, leaving 69 acres usable by the County.

“That’s more than enough land for what we want to do,” Board president Harry Sanders said, “so I think we can go forward with this.” While some discussion asked about simply not purchasing the “buffer zone” part of the property, it was soon explained that it was all a package deal, and that leaving that part out would actually cause the price to go up from the agreed-upon $840 thousand price tag. The cost will be paid out over eight years, with no interest charged, and reflects a discount of $50 thousand below the assessed value of the property.

District 2 Supervisor Bill Brigham commended that “As far as that part of the property, there still may be something we could use it for that the FAA would approve, maybe a walking path.” He went on to speculate that “The system out there is going to be obsolete one of these days and that part of the property will be usable. . . Let’s go ahead as we planned.”

The board agreed, voting to make its first $100,000 payment on Nov. 15 of this year.

In other board business, supervisors dealt with the question of how to fill the county prosecutor position that will become open in January. Current office-holder Allison Kizer will leave that position after being sworn in as county judge, for which she is running unopposed next month.

“It could be that for some of us, whether or not the person wants to run again is OK, and for others it might not be,” District 5 Supervisor Leroy Brooks said. “I think we should just let that play out and see how the votes go. There’s no need to do anything else.”

Supervisors set the deadline to apply for the county prosecutor position for Dec. 3.

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New Phase of Lowndes County Horse Park Has Begun

New Phase of Lowndes County Horse Park Has Begun

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Lowndes County Board of Supervisors President Harry Sanders

“I got to thinking about how children in high school don’t enter these anymore, which is why we’re building (the park),” Lowndes County BOS President Harry Sanders recently remarked.  “Maybe we can get kids interested again in things we used to do when we were kids.”

He was speaking of the Lowndes County Horse Park which is situated on a 22-acre site west of Columbus, just off of Hwy 82 on Tom Rose Road. Sanders hopes it will become the perfect venue in Lowndes County to hold horse shows, livestock shows, county fairs, and other outdoor and agricultural activities. The site currently Lowndes County Extension Service office on 485 Tom Rose Road. Extension Agent Reid Nevins said the location has helped the department grow significantly within the past year:  “(The building) has been a godsend,” Nevins said. “Since we moved in during April of last year, we have had over 5,000 people walk through those doors. … That’s not phone calls, that’s coming in the door and interacting and asking questions and participating.”

The next phase is the horse park — a planned 45,000 square-foot open-air arena, which is projected to be completed in 2019.  Construction is set to begin before October of this year.

At least at the beginning, “[this] will mainly be used for rodeo show horses … the EMCC rodeo team doesn’t have a place to host rodeos,” said Sanders. “They’ve agreed to host their rodeos at our arena. That’s going to draw in a lot of tourist dollars. … It’s going to get used.”

“The sky’s the limit, let’s just put it that way,” Nevins said.

Please click here for the full article.


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Master Plan Has Been Approved for Starkville Athletic Complex

Master Plan Has Been Approved for Starkville Athletic Complex

STARKVILLE – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Starkville aldermen recently approved a contract with Dalhoff Thomas, a Memphis architecture firm. They are to be awarded $61,000  for a master plan of a proposed athletic complex at Cornerstone Park off Highway 25. Ward 4 Alderman Jason Walker reports that this will become integrated with the master plan the city already has for its overall parks system. “This is for design purposes to get you to a master plan level,” he said. It is to be a basic, non-final plan/proposal for a possible athletic facility at Cornerstone Park, allowing the city to move ahead on getting the actual project in motion, pending approval.

Walker continued, “This is going to be the plan for us to decide how we want to do it, what we want to do and from that standpoint, there would be a separate contract that would go to construction documents to actually get the project built.” It will likely include things such as a projected square footage, drainage and other infrastructure requirements, et al.

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill (courtesy photo)

Mayor Lynn Spruill said that the city might be eligible to receive roughly 114 acres in Cornerstone Park from the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority. “That gives us a whole lot of options we can use because we keep McKee, we keep the Sportsplex, and we have a real serious competitive opportunity we can use here,” she said. She also pointed out that success in this venture would eliminate the need to acquire similar land nearer the existing facilities: “Unless Cornerstone has … a huge wetland issue for mitigation, then the amount of acreage we were looking at (near the Sportsplex) was half of what we’d get at Cornerstone,” she said.

“We want to do high-end ball fields,” Spruill went on to say. “We want to be as competitive or more competitive than anyone out there. We want to do amenities to go with it — maybe a splash pad or a batting area. A jogging track — it’s very easy to put something around a facility to allow other facilities.”

Ward 5 Alderman Patrick Miller commented: “When the Outlaw Center at the Sportsplex fills up or there’s an event going on, I’d like to make sure that our youth or whoever it might have the opportunity to play basketball in other parts of the city as well and have good, nice facilities just like everywhere else in the city.”

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New Terry Brown Amphitheater Phase 1 Done, Usable for Free Events. Phase 2 Next Up

New Terry Brown Amphitheater Phase 1 Done, Usable for Free Events. Phase 2 Next Up

Columbus, MS – The Dispatch

The Terry Brown Amphitheater (Phase I) on the Westbank of the river

The new Terry Brown Amphitheater, located on the west bank of the river, as part of the Columbus Riverwalk, has completed Phase 1 of its construction, and they’re ready for Phase 2 to begin as soon as funding can be raised. The work thus far has cost about $3 million, and another $2.5 million or so is being called for in order to finish everything up.

City Engineer Kevin Stafford said that going over the usual list of making sure every little thing works properly is all that needs to be done before formally turning over the keys to the City itself: “We’ll be testing all the systems next week to make sure everything’s ready to go,” Stafford said. “What you have is basically the same thing as across the river (an existing outdoor stage under the Old Highway 82 bridge with grass seating). It’s just bigger, less likely to flood and is fully ADA accessible.”

Once these tests and inspections are all done, the amphitheater facility will be usable for free events; once everything else is done (such as fencing, ticketing, permanent restrooms, etc), it will be usable for private and paid events, as well. Stafford says that, once funding is secured, “I would estimate it would take about nine months, start to finish.” All of the physical infrastructure and groundwork is in place already.

“It’s a great facility,” said Barbara Bigelow, director of Main Street Columbus. “At this point, I haven’t discussed how we might use it. Sounds of Summer could certainly be held there, but people love where it is now, so I’m not sure my board would want to move. But I do think there is a lot of potential for the new facility. It’s another attraction for our downtown and we’re excited to see what happens there.”

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Restaurant news in Columbus — Parkside Diner, New & Improved Burger King Coming Very Soon!

Restaurant news in Columbus — Parkside Diner, New & Improved Burger King Coming Very Soon!


William Browning of the Commercial Dispatch brings news to tantalize your tastebuds:

Danny and Wendy Cameron, who once ran the Front Door/Back Door in downtown Columbus have announced their latest venture: Parkside Diner. It will be located at 2625 Main St, in the old Shipley’s Donuts building across from Probst Park, and is expected to open its doors as soon as the end of the month; possibly in early April. The venue is designed to evoke the look and feel of a 50’s-style diner, complete with a jukebox, 45’s on the counter, and – eventually – real rootbeer floats and milkshakes.

They will offer soups, salads, and sandwiches as their primary fare, with Mennonite-baked bread delivered fresh every morning. A breakfast menu is in the works, as well. At first, they plan to be open from Tuesday through Saturday each week, from 10 AM to 3 PM each day, with a small staff.

On the fast food front:

The Burger King at 119 AlabamaBurger_King St near the Food Giant is currently undergoing extensive renovations –It is expected to reopen in about a week, on March 12, with a brand-new, expanded kitchen, totally re-done dining room, and a modernized exterior.

In addition, a new Burger King will be opening at 604 18th Ave, next to the Cracker Barrel. It is expected to open in mid-June, and will employ 30-40 local workers. It will be built at the former location of Smith’s Landscaping, which has moved into the old Barnhill’s building just down the street, and is open for business as we speak!

For info on these and more:

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Parks Key To Quality Of Life In Golden Triangle

Parks Key To Quality Of Life In Golden Triangle

probst park

Beautiful Probst Park in Columbus, MS gives us all room for play, sports, athletics, parties, and even just hanging around and enjoying the breeze. (click for full size)

In my travels as a real estate agent, I have seen the enormous impact that playgrounds and parks play in the market. Often overlooked by taxpayers, a strong parks and recreation system is a top item on checklists of potential buyers when moving into a market. In our region (and quite possibly the entire state of Mississippi), Columbus currently boasts the premier soccer complex, which has hosted several state-wide events. It has an ideal setting, nestled between historic downtown Columbus and the Riverwalk.

Starkville has a top-notch sportsplex in the center of town, but has recently began a movement to build a best-in-class facility, in order to attract more attention and tourists to the town. Mississippi State University already lends a hand hosting major events, and an additional complex outside of the school should prove to be valuable as the area continues to grow.

Nice, clean parks and facilities help potential buyers open their minds’ eye to imagine living in a community – playing, riding and enjoying a picnic. Parks also often provide a buffer between urban and rural areas of Columbus and Starkville, and provide a great public service to our residents – as well as to potential citizens. They help to make a brand-new city feel more like “home.”

WCBI has more on our growing park system :

“Our citizens, citizens everywhere pretty much have an expectation of having quality play spaces, parks that are accessible and facilities that offer not only enjoyment but opportunities to help themselves to personal health and wellness,” Starkville mayor Parker Wiseman said.




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