Last Thursday, local officials in Harrison County, Miss., sent a message to the constituents of the South Mississippi Soccer Club by turning off the field lights, effectively halting practice and enforcing the value of resource frugality.
The county has partnered with the club to provide playing fields and facilities but, according to county officials, some of the club members have been leaving practice with the lights running, resulting in a staggering electricity bill for the county.
The county received a high volume of complaints from angry soccer parents and volunteer coaches, but the soccer club backed them up on their actions.
A source told WBRC FOX6 News “These big 1500-watt metal lights cost a lot of money to operate, and there’s a bunch of them out here. I know it’s a concern for the tax payer to have to fork out the bill.”
Russell Cameron, a retired county employee, says he has often come to the field after a practice has ended to turn off lights out of concern for county’s tight budget.
As far as Harrison County Supervisor Angel Middleton is concerned, turning off the lights is part of the basic responsibility of using the field. “We have to be good stewards of our electricity and our power bill,” she said.
South Mississippi Soccer Club coach Russ Carothers blames the oversight on the rapid growth of the club, and says organizers will take care in the future to restrict access and provide better education to volunteers concerning usage.