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Attorney general to review Water Valley ballfield agreement

The attorney general’s office has agreed to look into whether the city of Water Valley or the local school board should maintain school ballfields.

The school board asked the attorney general’s office to look at the possible inter-local agreement between the city and school district over the maintenance and use of the baseball field next to the school campus.

School board members decided to find out from the attorney general whether the agreement is legal before they would sign it.

The city owns the baseball field as a result of a federal grant issued 20 years ago.

The agreement would basically allow the city to own the field with the school district maintaining it. Water Valley High School would use the field for its baseball season.

“We have a real good baseball program and a fine coach, and I’d like to spend as much as we can to help them,” said board member Cayce Washington.

Washington said the school district and the coaches and members of the baseball team would do the best job of maintaining the field.

Board president Ray Hawkins said he did not think the agreement was beneficial.

“We’re taking the obligation from (the city) to maintain the field, but it is still their field and they can use it,” Hawkins said. “How does it benefit us?”

Board members recently discovered that the school system did not own the field where the high school team has been playing all of its home games.

The board asked School Superintendent Sammy Higdon to talk to the Water Valley Board of Aldermen about the city maintaining the field.

The school board will then decide whether it wants to sign the agreement to allow it to maintain the field on its own or let the city be responsible for the field’s day-to-day maintenance.

Higdon said something needed to be decided soon because baseball practice begins after the Christmas holidays.