Arts Center Funding Back on Table

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Meridian's proposed Arts and Entertainment Center received good news Friday.

Gov. Haley Barbour will include a $10 million bond proposal for the center in an upcoming special session of the Legislature.

The lakes are already one of Nina Griffin's favorite places to visit, but she says if the Arts and Entertainment Center is built there, she'll come even more often.

"I think it's great, give us something to do, give us some culture," Griffin said.

That culture now appears to be a little closer than it was just a few weeks ago.

During its regular session, the Mississippi Legislature failed to pass a bond issue that included money for several projects, including the Arts and Entertainment Center. Now it appears to be getting another chance.

"We do think the bond piece is important for economic development, and job creation, and that includes the jobs created by the Arts and Entertainment Center," said Mayor John Robert Smith.

And that center probably won't be possible without the seed money the legislature is considering providing.

"This is not a Meridian project, it's a state project," Smith said. "So it's only natural that Mississippi put money into the project."

That seed money will be combined with local, federal and private cash to make up the money needed to build the center.

Nina Griffin says she can't wait to see her favorite spot get a little more interesting.