New sports complex proposed in Hazlehurst

BY BONNIE JACKSON
The Hazlehurst Board of Aldermen and Mayor Henry Banks heard a very interesting and potentially lucrative proposal during a recent meeting.
Renee Marble, president of Citadel International, a business development company, and Tommy Smith, director of SouthPark SportsPlex, presented their plan for building a sports complex in the Hazlehurst Industrial Park.
Marble grew up in Terry and moved back to Copiah County in 2010. She became aware of the need for an all-inclusive facility in Hazlehurst that allows kids to play sports such as football, soccer and baseball.
“As a business developer, I have a network of retired and active professional athletes who are looking for the opportunity to invest in facilities like these for rural communities,” stated Marble.
She assured the Board that she was not asking for money.  They were looking for the perfect location and found it in the remaining 39 acres of undeveloped land in the Hazlehurst Industrial Park, she stated.
“We will pay fair market value for the property,” Marble assured the board.
The fact that there is not a facility within 200 miles equipped to host sports tournaments is another plus for placing the facility in Hazlehurst.  “Sports tournaments are a huge economic stream for the community. We estimate that the projected revenue for the area will be about $2.9 million,” stated Marble.
The board approved starting the appraisal process to determine fair market value for the land; and, the mayor to sign a letter of intent.

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