The only action taken in a called meeting last Wednesday by members of the Hazlehurst Board of Aldermen could have a major positive impact on the entire region.
The four board members present–Akin, McMillian, Jones and Sims–voted unanimously to offer for sale some 40+ acres in the Hazlehurst Industrial Park to SouthPark Sports Complex. The organization plans to turn the unimproved acreage into a mega-center for physical activity, including performance training, softball and baseball playing fields that can accommodate soccer and football, a walking track, bike trail and other recreational aspects. Plans are even calling for a several-hundred room hotel to be built on the site. Long-range plans include hosting of ball tournaments and other events that would bring hundred, possibly thousands, of visitors to the Hazlehurst area and greater Copiah County from a 200 square mile radius. The possible economic benefit to the area is upwards of $5 million per year.
The long and short of it is that, if everything goes as planned, land that has been pretty much idle for decades, will become the hotbed for family activity in south Mississippi and perhaps generate hundreds of new direct and indirect job opportunities.
Kudos to the city board for a quick vote on the offer to sell the acreage to SouthPark, giving the organization some headway on their plans.
Joe Buck Coates