Agri-Center could have new director soon

By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – A new Lee County Agri-Center director could be named within the next month.
Lee County Administrator Sean Thompson said the Lee County Board of Supervisors has interviewed six candidates from a pool of 27 and will be taking some action in coming weeks.
The board also met with a representative of the citizens advisory board in a closed-door session Wednesday morning. The board made of residents was tasked with recommending a new director.
The Lee County Agri-Center has been without a director since November 2011 when then-director Julia Viator resigned, 18 months after taking over leadership of the center.
The center has been cash strapped and reportedly costs anywhere between $150,000 to $300,000 to operate a year while earning about $100,000 annually.
During the time without a director, a citizens committee has recommended the board make infrastructure improvements and rebrand the center to encompass more than agricultural events.
Supervisors have been wary of sinking more money into the struggling facility.
jb.clark@journalinc.com