Meridian, Lauderdale County Partner on New Center

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Meridian and Lauderdale County are working together in an effort to build a new center at Velma Young Park, a part of Meridian in need of revitalization and that some may not consider safe.

But city and county leaders say building a brand new recreational center that would not only provide for a new Boys and Girls Club, but would serve as a community event venue that could bring new life to the area.

The city and county are seeking a federal matching grant of $600,000 to make this project happen.

At Monday's Lauderdale County board of supervisors meeting, many of the players spoke about the great community need for a new recreational center.

"I'm not belittling anybody, but that section of town, especially that area right there, has declined over the years," said District 2 supervisor, Wayman Newell. "Hasn't been any baseball out there since the mid 80's, 30-something years ago, so they've got baseball and trying to improve the area all the way around."

"We have committed as a council and a mayor to other things that we know are great needs in the community, like the Arts and Entertainment Center, and this facility is a great need, and will provide a great service to this community," said Mayor Percy Bland.

The mayor says he hopes the Velma Young project will be addressed at Tuesday's Meridian City Council meeting, or possibly in an emergency meeting.