Supervisor Meadows gave his colleagues a brief history of the fairgrounds and talked about some possible improvements down the road. (Photo source: WLOX)
HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -
It's a place for horse shows, soccer games and model airplane enthusiasts. Harrison County's fairgrounds came into being back in 1989. Monday morning, supervisors agreed to create a long range plan for that multi-purpose facility.
It is more than 630 acres in the heart of Harrison County. And while the fairgrounds hosts a variety of sporting and leisure events, one supervisor says there's even greater potential there.’
"It is a diamond in the rough, waiting to be polished. And it is going to be an amazing thing, if we get it done right," said District 2 Supervisor Joe Meadows.
Supervisor Meadows gave his colleagues a brief history of the fairgrounds and talked about some possible improvements down the road.
Perhaps an enclosed arena or connecting the fairgrounds to a sewer system. But what's needed most, says the supervisor, is a long range plan.
"Over the years, starting with building the horse arena in '89, the fairgrounds has continued to grow, but with no master plan to guide the development," said Meadows.
Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District will create the master plan for the fairgrounds. The first step of that plan will be a review of existing facilities and practices.
"Take a look at the current users of the facility, and then also look at some of the facility management practices. Maintenance schedules, booking, staffing. Things like that," said SMPDD Project Manager Kristyn Gunter.
The Gulf Coast Winter Classic horse show is the primary event at the fairgrounds. It generates $150,000 in rent and creates millions of dollars in economic development for the area. Supervisor Meadows believes a long range plan would help the county could attract even more events like that.
"And it's a great opportunity for the people of Harrison County to get out and get involved with this great project," he said.