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Officials hope Agri-Center generates revenue with new signage

TUPELO — Lee County wants to refurbish or replace the sign outside its Agri-Center with an LED screen capable of displaying ads it can sell to earn money.

Officials tell the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal the project could bring in about $92,000 a year for the cash-strapped facility in Verona.

County administrator Sean Thompson says the board of supervisors has voted to seek bids for the sign’s renovation, which will cost an estimated $60,000 to $70,000.

The proposal came from a committee was appointed in April to recommend how to the center open and financially solvent.

According to the proposal, the sign’s existing lighted display will be replaced with a computer-compatible LED screen capable of displaying hundreds of ads per day.

The two stationary panels below will be replaced with four, conventional lighted panels featuring the logos of corporate sponsors.

If all the space sold, the committee estimated the county could generate $20,000 annually from the four panels and $72,000 a year from the LED ads.

Built nearly two decades ago, the 150,000-square-foot facility has hosted rodeos, concerts, weddings, truck shows and carnivals.

But it never has been profitable. Thompson said the Agri-Center earned $115,165 in revenues during the previous fiscal year but needed $161,560 from Lee County to stay afloat.

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