SOUTHAVEN, MS -- Even more questionable spending in Southaven. The Board of Aldermen is working to clean up a mess that could have cost the city millions.
This week, it's Southaven Fire Station Number 2 that's under fire.
The city is leasing the fire station, paying $30,000 a month for something it will never own. It's a deal Mayor Greg Davis made and no one knows why.
Now, the board is doing its best to fix the problem.
"It's just like a few other things. No one saw the contract or had any dealings with the contract except for the mayor," says alderman Ronnie Hale. "There's nothing about the lease in my opinion that makes any sense. The details and stipulations listed, we paid for maintenance, property taxes, there's nothing about it that's right. And we never saw the details."
The previous board approved a deal to build the fire station in 2008. Davis recommended it.
The city was supposed to buy it after a year, but that never happened. Instead, Davis signed a 15 year lease, and Southaven's spent more than $800,000 in rent. It's money the city won't get back.
"I think it's wrong to do that," says resident Willie Davison.
Davis has disappeared and is not around to ask why, but that's what everyone in town is asking.
"To be doing one thing and then you're doing something else under the table, doesn't that look funny?" asks Davison.
This week, aldermen approved a contract to buy the fire station.
"It's going to save us a lot of money in the long run," Hale tells abc24.com. "The fire station was going to cost us $5.4 million if we'd stayed in lease for 15 years."
Now, the city will pay about half that amount.
"We had an agreed upon price of $3.25 million and there's already been a half million deposit put down," says Hale. "Has it cost us more than we probably would have paid to build it outright? Yes, it has and we know that. But is it as bad a deal as it sounds? We think we stopped it before it got that bad."
Hale says the state auditor has requested information on the fire station deal, and that it is part of the office's investigation into the mayor.