Home » NEWS » Council approves loan guarantee for zoo on heels of study

Council approves loan guarantee for zoo on heels of study

JACKSON — The Jackson City Council has approved a measure to guarantee a loan of $800,000 for the city’s zoo to help pay for roughly $880,000 in debt.

The loan, which will be taken out of city funding to the zoo for the next eight years, eases zoo management’s effort to maintain accreditation by the prestigious Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which will send inspectors to grade the zoo in early August.

Sean Perkins, chief of staff to Mayor Harvey Johnson, who was absent from yesterday’s meeting, said it will be money well-spent.

The city also is spending $300,000 to repair restrooms and plumbing lines around the 92-year-old zoo.

Zoo director Beth Poff tells The Clarion-Ledger the zoo cares for about 600 animals from 200 species with daily costs of $3,600.

The City Council’s action comes on the heels of a new economic impact study of the zoo conducted on behalf of the AZA.

AZA commissioned a state-by-state economic impact analysis conducted by nationally recognized economist, Dr. Stephen Fuller.

AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums generated the following impacts for the State of Mississippi: $12.2 million in economic activity (contribution to national GDP), $4 million in personal earnings (salaries and wages) and 125 jobs.

The report found that the Jackson Zoo is a valuable community resource, including visits by 30,000 school children every year, and a vital role in wildlife conservation.

Beyond these important community benefits, Jackson Zoo has the following economic impact: employs 35 people; spends $2.3 million each year on goods and services; and, serves 167,000 visitors each year.

A copy of the report can be found at www.aza.org/PressRoom/NationalEconomicImpact/.

Source: Jackson Zoo; The Clarion-Ledger


… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Megan Wright

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *