City approves MOU with Ext. Service

Josh Presley
News Reporter

The West Point Board of Selectmen voted to approve a new lease agreement for the Jimmy Bryan 4-H Youth Complex at its meeting Tuesday night. The new agreement entails changing the lease from the 4-H Society to the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
West Point Mayor Robbie Robinson said the lease would be for 10 years, and that MSU would pay all utilities for the property. The city also approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Extension Service for the use of the adjacent property.
"The city own's 14.3 acres of property that 4-H and the Extension Service have used as an ATV riding and training trail and other activities," Robinson said. "Under the new MOU, Clay County law enforcement — including the West Point Police Department and Clay County Sheriff's Department — would be able to use the firing range out there."
West Point Chief Administrative Officer Randy Jones said officers have to travel to Columbus, Starkville or Tupelo for firearm certification, and the ability to conduct firing exercises in West Point would provide greater convenience for officers and also spend less taxpayer dollars.
"In the previous MOU, we'd let them use that 14.3 acres for the riding trail safety classes and other activities, and in return we'd had a conversation about using that for law enforcement," Jones said. "4-H was not inclined to do that at the time. We all understand the concern of doing firearm training out there where they do therapeutic riding and where kids are around."
Jones said the firearm exercises would be scheduled so as to not invade the Extension Service's activities on the property.
"A law enforcement entity has to specifically request to go out there, and neither the city nor county will have a key to the facility," he said. "The city and county will also split the liability insurance."