Mobile County Commissioners continue discussion on proposed soccer complex

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – An on-going debate for a proposal on Mobile’s first soccer facility has two county commissioners at odds.

At Thursday’s Mobile County Commission meeting, item #16 on the agenda created the most buzz: a possible purchase of over 200 acres of land at the southeast corner of I-65 at I-10 for $2.96 million.

“I think time will show when we can move forward and get this done that this is a great location,” said Commissioner Connie Hudson.

But it is being met with opposition by Commissioner Jerry Carl. He said the cost is way to high to build.

“I don’t want to commit to 2.9 million for a piece of property. The number we are working with right now is twenty [million dollars]…but we keep adding on there. If we would have gone with my project, we would be playing soccer today,” said Commissioner Carl.

Commissioner Carl said those numbers were based on preliminary talks he had with engineers and other entities that would be involved in the project. Commissioner Hudson said those numbers are outrageous.

“I have no idea where Commissioner Carl gets the numbers for these costs. They are not accurate. The only cost we know right now that is an accurate number is $2.96 million for the purchase of the property. Beyond that, we have an engineering firm that is going to be giving us costs on where we go from here. I only deal in facts. And the facts are we know what the cost of the property is right now,” said Commissioner Hudson.

Originally, two plans were on the table: Commissioner Hudson’s plan, and Commissioner Carl’s plan for a facility in Irvington. He said the total cost would have been $5 million, beginning to end, including the purchase of the land. The land would have been bought for $1 from the Mobile County School Board.

As for Commissioner Hudson’s plan, she said the final cost is still not known. The commission will not know that until the land has been secured. That is the next step in the process.

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