Espy says CCYO provides same services as Boys & Girls Club

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    By Josh Troy

    Clarksdale Advocate

    The Coahoma County Youth Outreach program provides services for local children equivalent to what the Boys & Girls Club of the Mississippi Delta does in other communities. Clarksdale Mayor Chuck Espy expressed those sentiments during the city’s vetting meeting on Thursday when discovering the Boys & Girls Club of Mississippi Delta requested $20,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds from the city. During Monday’s meeting, the board will have the opportunity to vote on whether or not to allocate the $20,000 of ARPA funds to the Boys & Girls Club of the Mississippi Delta. The city received a total of $3.6 million in ARPA funds, and the Boys & Girls Club is requesting $20,000 of ARPA money to fund activities and projects.

    Espy talked about the CCYO program that meets at the Coahoma County Expo Center. “I know that we have done a lot with the County on the Expo, so I’m not sure about the request for the Boys & Girls Club,” he said. “All funding probably needs to go to the County because we support the Expo, and I don’t know how that actually goes.” City Clerk Cathy Clark said David Dallas, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Mississippi Delta, sent the letter making the request.

    “The County has taken the lead on providing these types of services at the County Expo,” Espy said. “So, technically, we already have a version of the Boys & Girls Club in the County. So, if we decide to disburse any funds, those funds need to go to the Expo.” Espy said CCYO Executive Director Kendric Travis has done a good job running things at the Expo Center.

    “He’s running that facility, and I just can’t see why we would send money down the highway?” Espy said. “That money should go toward kids that are right here in Coahoma County. So, unless they’re making a partnership with what’s happening at the Expo, I can’t see us doing it. That’s just my thoughts. Espy said the Commissioners could give their opinions about the Boys & Girls Club’s request.

    “You guys need to weigh in on it,” he said. “I guess I’ll try to find more information for you on Monday, and maybe I can report back to you.” Espy asked Lisa Fisher, assistant to the mayor, to find out more information about the Boys & Girls Club’s request and provide a report at Monday’s meeting. “He (Dallas) refers to a location in Clarksdale, but he doesn’t say where it’s at,” Clark said. “That’s one of the things we need to know.”

    Espy again talked about the work CCYO is already doing.“We have a version of the Boys & Girls Club right at the Expo,” Espy said. “Then you’ve got the Young Life on Anderson,” Ward 1 Commissioner Bo Plunk replied.
    “That’s right,” said Espy in response. “Another one on Anderson in full speed, lots of kids and activity in there.”

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