The term “dead in the water” might apply to the Amphitheater. The Dispatch stated on July 23, 2015: “Columbus planning for Amphitheater.” Since then our fair city along with grants, restaurant taxes and various other funds, spent $3 million on the project. It is far from completion, no seating, rest room or concession stands. A visit to the place recently showed vandals had graffiti on the brick work, trash everywhere and a door pried open. I guess the public works department didn’t have a work order on the project. Now the question is, what to do with the $3 million dollar investment? It has been flooded, even though we paid $15,500 for a “no rise analysis,” which from my understanding tells you how high the water will rise using data available. April 2017, a statement was made the first phase was completed. It’s bigger, less likely to flood and ADA accessible. Bigger and ADA accessible were correct, but come Feb. 2019, the Tombigbee flooded and the water rose up to the stage. Remember the $15,500 “no rise certificate”? Minor damage to electrical panels was reported. No problem, except at the council meeting, Sept. 3, the docket showed $124,606.75 for electrical repairs to the Amphitheater. Not one of the councilmen questioned that payment. Maybe they didn’t notice, didn’t read the docket or don’t care how our monies are spent. You decide. I visited the Amphitheater site today after last night’s council meeting and there were three Columbus Light and Water trucks on site. The men said they were installing security LED lights. Unless the area is secured by some means, the lights will only give the vandals light to work by. The mud and debris left by the flood in February has not been touched. Three million dollars spent and amphitheater and grounds look like an area from a third world country at the worst or a Baltimore slum at best. With our financial problems in the city, it’s hard to tell when things might improve. Maybe after the called public meeting on the 5th of Sept to address the tax increase, we’ll find out how much more the city will require of OUR money to operate. Fellow residents of our fair city we’re in a financial mess!
God Bless America and pray for Columbus.
Lee Roy Lollar
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