The proposed sale of Ladd-Peebles Stadium from the City of Mobile to the Mobile County Public School System for $1 is on hold. (Photo courtesy of Ladd-Peebles Stadium)
By ARTHUR L. MACK
Three Mobile City Councilmembers stopped Wednesday’s meeting before it got started over dissatisfaction of a proposed sale of Ladd-Peebles Stadium to the Mobile County Public School System.
Councilmembers Cory Penn and William Carroll, along with Council President C.J. Small, abstained from voting to pass the agenda, causing the meeting to be adjourned since five votes were needed to move forward.
A statement issued by the city’s communications department said Small, Carroll and Penn disagreed with the sale of the stadium and feel the city should better understand the impact of having events at the stadium on the Maysville community, particularly HBCU games.
“They hold the view that the existing lease agreement fails to garner adequate support to preserve the community’s cultural identity and does not acknowledge the stadium’s economic significance,” the statement said.
A proposal to sell the stadium for $1 to the MCPSS was put on hold along with a $3.2 million contract with JPayne Organizations LLC for improvements at Bienville Square, a lease agreement between the city and the MCPSS for Williamson High’s on-campus football stadium and the designation of election officers for the July 25 annexation election.
In exchange for selling the stadium to the school system, the city is expected to pay $9 million over five years for improvements to the stadium.
Councilmember Ben Reynolds said it was the first time he recalled the council failing to pass an agenda.
“We’re here to conduct the business of the people and this is delaying certain projects, such as the transfer of property for Williamson to build its stadium and ordinary business, like rezoning that we have to pass that will be held up now,” Reynolds said. “I heard no concerns, nor did I have any discussion with anyone about it. It came as a surprise to all of us.”