April 18, 2014 10:35:16 AM
The short-term goal is to get new signs for the Columbus Soccer Complex. The long-term goal is to add fields.
Lowndes County owns enough land in the Burns Bottom area for both of those goals to be achieved, Columbus Lowndes Recreation Authority Director Roger Short said. But signs are the priority and permission to put them on land near the Highway 82 bypass will require a zoning change.
Supervisors agreed Tuesday to ask the Columbus Planning and Zoning Commission for permission to rezone four small lots the county owns from agricultural to highway commercial. While the county owns the land, it has to ask the zoning commission for approval on changing the zoning because the property is inside city limits.
The matter will be addressed at the zoning commission's May meeting. The commission typically holds meetings on the second Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.
This is part of ongoing work to not only enhance but connect both the soccer complex and the Riverwalk.
Last month, supervisors voted to match $25,000 of a $125,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks for additional walking trails connecting the two. The match can include in-kind services to install as much as possible of three planned sidewalk sections spanning about 1,500 feet from Coretta Street to the north soccer fields.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation awarded a $500,000 grant for more extensive sidewalk work to extend the Riverwalk near the bridges on Moore's Creek and under the Highway 82 bypass. A timeline for both sidewalk projects has not been finalized.
The complex will host the President's Cup, the largest youth soccer tournament in Mississippi, on May 24 and 25. About 100 teams are expected to participate.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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