Lowndes County is moving along with the next phase of work on its horse park.
On Friday, supervisors approved putting the second phase out for bid, after receiving $400,000 in state funding.
The horse park is located on a 22-acre site west of Columbus directly south of Highway 82 on Tom Rose Road.
County Chief Financial Officer Lloyd Price said the planned work will focus on building a parking area near the new building that houses Mississippi State University’s Lowndes County Extension Service branch.
A summary for the proposed construction says the filled area near the building will turned into a paved parking lot with approximately 47 spaces. Those spaces, in addition to parking already available at the Extension office, will bring total parking capacity to about 60 spaces at the facility.
A roofed, open-air pavilion about the size of a football field is planned for a later date, but the construction proposal includes some preparatory site work for the arena.
“As far as the building, we’re not going to do that yet because there’s no funding available,” Price said.
County officials are planning to build the horse park in phases, depending on state funding. The project has, so far, relied entirely on state money. The Legislature approved $1.2 million for the project in 2015, and $400,000 in 2016. Legislators did not approve funding for the project in this year’s session.
Board of Supervisors President Harry Sanders said the hose park, when finished, could host equine and cattle shows, greenhouses and more.
“Hopefully at some point, we’ll be able to do an ATV track and have a nature trail and a lot of things out there,” Sanders said.
Supervisors also set a bid opening date for rail spur and access road construction projects for a New Process Steel expansion. New Process Steel operates a facility at 280 Industrial Park Road that employs 45 people, according to the Golden Triangle Development LINK. The new facility, which the LINK codenamed “Project Garage,” is expected to add 50 jobs.
In early March, supervisors approved about $1.7 million in grants and loans for the $7.5 million steel processing facility, which will be located near Steel Dynamics, Inc. at the industrial park west of Columbus. The expansion will need $750,000 in Development Infrastructure Program grants from the Mississippi Development Authority for road improvements, and up to $1 million in a state loan to pay for a rail spur from the railway near the SDI campus.
Supervisors will open bids for the construction projects at 10 a.m. on Aug. 15.
Alex Holloway was formerly a reporter with The Dispatch.