The Coahoma County Youth Outreach program began under the direction of the Coahoma County Board of Supervisors in 2012.
CCYO moved to the Coahoma County Expo Center in 2014.
Now, there is the possibility the supervisors may not have the funds to keep CCYO going. The Boys and Girls Club, which is already in the CCYO building, could take over the entire program.
CCYO outreach and enrichment director Kendrick Travis and board members attempted to save their program at Monday’s supervisors meeting.
“We’re trying to find out what’s going on and what possibly can we do?” Travis said. “We would love to keep it CCYO. The guys invested and put a lot into that facility. I don’t know if you guys know what it does for the community. It does a lot. There are a lot of kids out there.”
Board of Supervisors president Paul Pearson said there are fewer funds each fiscal year, which begins in October. As it is, he said taxes will be raised two mills to pay for the new Coahoma County jail being built on Highway 49.
“We’re required to furnish a jail,” Pearson said. “We must have one. Unfortunately, we’re not required by law to have a facility for youth.”
Pearson said the only way there would not be a CCYO program is if the funds were unavailable.
“Nobody on this board wants to see it fail,” he said. “That’s our worst fear.”
Pearson said the county is spending $350,000 a year on CCYO and it is required to build a $10 million jail.
Pearson said he would have a better idea of the finances in September.
He and other board members said they did not mean to blindside Travis and the CCYO board.
Supervisor Johnny Newson reflected on when he was first elected.
“That was my platform- education, recreation and crime prevention,” he said. “That was my platform in 2003. That’s what I ran on.
“It hurts me more than it hurts you all. I know how hard you worked.”
CCYO board president Al Jones addressed the supervisors with his concerns.
“It was a surprise to us,” Jones said. “When I say us, I say the board. You appointed us to bring recreation into Coahoma County.”
Jones said the supervisors did not ask the CCYO board to add enrichment to the program. However, he said they still added enrichment and partnering with the Boys and Girls Club has been a positive.
Jones said the CCYO budget is $200,000, but with everything now in the Expo Center, not as much money is needed.
He said the supervisors would not have to allocate as much money to CCYO to keep the program going.
“I’m saying we have a vital program ran by people of Coahoma County,” Jones said.
“Every dollar you give us is spent in Coahoma County.”
David Dallas, CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs in the Mississippi Delta, said he would work with the county, whatever it decides to do.
“We are very grateful to be considered as a potential partner for this,” he said. “Yes, we are very interested.”