JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV)- A new golf course, Jackson planetarium improvements and a decent parking lot for the Jackson Convention Center are all on hold as Governor Tate Reeves vetoes the funding. He said Jackson needs to concentrate on fixing its crime problem.
Some are in support of the governor’s decision to cut back funding on Jackson projects while others believe city development will offer more activities for people to enjoy and help curb the crime.
“We as a state need a vibrant capital city and unfortunately we don’t have enough Jackson Police Department officials. We have a lot of good men and women that for JPD. There’s just not enough of them,” said Governor Reeves.
That was Gov. Reeves when he addressed crime in the capital city last week. On Thursday, he announced some major vetoes today putting an end to some major projects here in Jackson citing crime as the reason.
The partial vetoes include a $13 million expansion to LeFleur’s Bluff featuring a new Trent Jones 10-hole golf course and $2 million to help bring Jackson’s ailing planetarium to a state of the art science and learning facility. The governor also nixed $1 million for a new parking lot at the Jackson Convention Center saying funding these projects would be a misappropriation of taxpayer dollars.
“Jackson is not one planetarium and golf course away from thriving. It needs serious investments in safety. We must continue to find ways to invest in our capitol police and get crime under control and until then these projects will never be viable,” said Gov. Reeves.
House Speaker Philip Gunn said this is not an appropriation bill, it’s a general bill.
“There is no provision under the law that we know that allows the governor to partially veto a general bill,” said Speaker Gunn.
Jackson neighbors shared their thoughts about losing funds for the major projects.
“Crime in Jackson is historically terrible. I believe wholeheartedly whatever we have to do to get more police for the different police precincts is very important. There’s supposed to be a certain amount of officers, there’s just not enough of them,” said Derek Caroll.
“It appears that he is trying to protect the citizens of the city. Trying to protect them– will it work? Who knows. It’s depending on how effective your police force are.”
Senator John Horhn also issued a statement about the situation.
“I think what the Governor did today was misguided and mean-spirited. We addressed crime in the capital city in very meaningful ways, and made significant inroads on our infrastructure issues, with more to come. The projects he vetoed were critical to improving our tax base and creating economic development. Economic development is one of the best ways I know to fight crime and blight.”
The 10-hole golf course would be the first Trent Jones golf course in the state. The Planetarium spokesperson also said they were “shocked and devastated” by the governor’s decision to veto the $2 million funding they were ready to receive.