Questions arise about who will pay for security at Mid-South Fair

By Chip Washington - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC-TV) - The Mid South Fair will have a new home this fall, but there are questions about who will pay security costs to keep fairgoers safe.      
The fair will make a pit stop at the DeSoto Civic Center this year before it moves to Tunica.
But who will pay the added cost of keeping fairgoers safe?

"The first meeting we had is....I wanted to know who was going to pay for the overtime for my employees, 'cause I do not have this budgeted for this year," said DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco.

When fans of the Mid-South Fair heard was moving from Memphis to Southaven, many said added safety was a bonus.

It will be a lot more safer down here, and I can take my little cousins and nephews down here. So, it won't be that bad," said fairgoer Renee Robertson.

But Rasco says adding security will cost roughly $125,000 dollars.

"I don't feel like it's the taxpayers burden to be put on their back to pay for the security of this Mid-South Fair coming to DeSoto County," he said.

Law enforcement agencies throughout the county, including the City of Southaven, will all be working overtime.

Southaven Mayor Greg Davis says he expects to be reimbursed no matter what the cost.

"We'll look at taking reimbursements from the Mid-South Fair," he said. "And I know there's an opinion that says you can't be reimbursed, and you know an opinion's an opinion. It's not law."

Desoto County officials say they'll have the problem worked out in time for fairgoers to enjoy the fall tradition.

They also say another planning meeting is scheduled for this coming week, and they hope the funding concerns will be addresses.

The fair runs from September 25 to October.

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