Commissioners approve land study for possible soccer complex

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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) –The Mobile County Commission voted 2-1 to move forward with a study on the land where Mobile’s first soccer complex could possibly be built, Tuesday, May 27.

Commissioner Hudson told FOX10 News the commission voted on a $10,000 option that gives it nine months to get hard numbers, facts, and figures in place to move forward with the project.

If the commission decided it needs more time, a 90-day extension can be purchased up to three more times. However, Commissioner Hudson said she feels all studies can be completed within the first nine months.

The study does not give the go-ahead for the soccer complex.

It has been a constant back and forth between Commissioner Connie Hudson and Commissioner Jerry Carl.

“I voted in favor of it because it allows us, this option, will allow us to have a right of entry to go on to the property to collect the information we need to have,” said Commissioner Merceria Ludgood.

The commission looks to turn a piece of land at the intersection of  I-65 and I-10 into a multi-field soccer complex, nature walking trail, and aquatic center.

“When we get our numbers, we can figure out how we are going to move forward in terms of what sort of a time line in getting the project completed,” said Commission President Connie Hudson.

Commissioner Hudson has been in favor of her proposal since the beginning. She said there will be a variety of ways to fund the project including county tax dollars, appropriated funds, new market tax credits, and private funding, too.

“There’s a lot of interest in the community about this and people that want to get on board and help and of course we want to harness as much of that energy as possible,” said Commissioner Hudson.

She said an appraised value of $2.96 million has been set on approximately 119 acres of land to be purchased from two owners. An additional 88 acres will be donated.

“There was some discussion regarding the cost of the complex. But we just aren’t there yet. We’re still trying to get some hard numbers,” said Commissioner Ludgood.

Commissioner Jerry Carl said his proposal for a complex in Irvington would not have cost the tax payers a dime. He voted against the complex.

“The vote went as I anticipated. So, I’m just going to be quiet. I’ve said all I need to say. I’ll just sit on the back row and watch.  I can’t find anything positive about that project, location is bad, costs too much. It’s going to take too long. And the soccer community needs something today. We should have already had them somewhere to play today,” said Commissioner Carl.

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