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Central mayor and council disagree about new city hall location

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CENTRAL- A political spat has State Senator Bodi White planning to reallocate funding that was dedicated for the City of Central. Instead, he said it will now go to the school system.

White said it comes after a disagreement between the council and mayor over a proposed new city hall. The disagreement over a location and the concern that the money might not be spent before the deadline has White saying it will be reallocated.

"I hate that it comes to this," White said. "But I'm not going to let the people of Central lose $3 million because the mayor won't act."

Last year, White allocated about a million dollars for a sports complex in the City of Central. The money was intended for a parking lot that would be built at that location with room for Central to build a city hall there and use some of the spots.

Mayor David Barrow said he was not included on any of the discussions and said he did not think it was truthful to use the city as a pass through when the money was intended for the school system in the first place.

"This money was supposed to go to a sports park at that complex," Barrow said. "If the money is being given to me to spend it, and it's not going to get spent on the sports park, I wanted to make sure no one accused me of misappropriating the funds."

White said the disagreement was concerning enough to let the City know Tuesday that the money was no longer going to them. Instead, White said the Central School System would get it.

"Enough is enough," White said. "I'm tired of being called a crook and all my associates. There's a process here. It's all in committee and open, everyone gets to look at it and vote on it."

Barrow denied ever calling White a crook or saying that the process to secure the money was unscrupulous. Barrow said he's been listening to the community and has their support. White said he's listening to his constituents too, which is why he wants to shuffle the money around.

White's plans would need legislative approval, and he said he has it already.

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