Mobile County Soccer Complex plans halted?

A lengthy and at times heated discussion on a proposed soccer complex was had at the Mobile County Commission meeting.

“I’m fed up with politics. It’s time to get on with business,” said Commissioner Jerry Carl.

There are two proposals right now, one from commissioner Carl and one from Commissioner Connie Hudson. The battle over which of the two is better for the county has been going on for months. Now, Carl is ready to take a different direction with his complex. He said Hudson’s project is too much money, and said he could build one at a fraction of what hers cost. Carl told the commission yesterday he is going to go forward with his project without them.

“We will build it, we will build it without government money. We will show that the people can do it for the people with the people’s money and we can manage it, the people not the government,” said Carl.

Carl said he plans to move forward with his complex on McDonald Road and will do it completely with private funding. Commissioner Connie Hudson is also ready to move forward with her complex as well, set to be built where I-65 meets I-10.

“I think we know basically this site is preferable as far as the funding I think we still have to answer some of these questions. We know it’s going to be a combination of factors, bond issue money, new market tax credit, private investment, maybe even some BP money,” Hudson said.

An engineer with Hudson’s project was at the commission meeting and said he is ready to present a proposal to the commission. Commissioner Merceria Ludgood said if she did vote on a site it would be the one Hudson is proposing, but said she ultimately doesn’t feel comfortable voting for a site at all at this point.

“It’s not at simple as picking a field and going forward. There are other questions that we need to answer based on the information that we are getting. The information is raising new questions,” Ludgood said.

The commissioners seem to agree that Mobile County does need a place for young people to play and practice soccer, but where to build it and how to pay for it is yet to be settled.

The commission is set to vote Monday on a contract to hire an engineering firm to determine the budget for the entire project for Hudson’s soccer complex. The commission will also be look at a purchase option for that land.

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