Agreement reached to bail out Lost Rabbit - - The News for South Mississippi

Agreement reached to bail out Lost Rabbit

CANTON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

After a hard sell by Board Attorney Mike Espy, Madison County Supervisors on Monday passed a measure to create what's called an Urban Renewal District, or URD, to issue new bonds for Lost Rabbit.

"This entire plan is meant to stabilize Lost Rabbit, prevent it from going further in the red," Espy explained to the Board.

There's currently an $18.6 million bond receivable to Allstate Insurance. But since no one's building in Lost Rabbit, the bond holder isn't getting paid back.

With the creation of the URD, Madison County can issue $5.2 million in bonds to jumpstart development there, and to offer Allstate some payback. Allstate will also get a 1% renewal fee from each lot sold.

Steve Rogers of Rogers & Associates explains what that would mean for a $60,000 lot.

"You multiply 1% times that lot value, that's $600. They would pay that amount to the county. The county would then take that amount and transfer it over to the bond," he says.

Plus, Allstate will receive 17.19 of the 92 mils generated at Lost Rabbit.

The upscale neighborhood is in District 1, Represented by Supervisor John Bell Crosby. He says there's little to no risk to the county.

"The program is based on basically future growth. So if there's no future growth, nothing happens," he tells us.

Supervisors are told there's a strong demand for mid-priced, single-family residential properties, exactly what Lost Rabbit offers.

The vote to pass the measure was 3-2, with Supervisors Gerald Steen and Ronny Lott voting against. 

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