Moss Point leaders to upgrade parks & recreation

By Patrice Clark- bio | email

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Moss Point parks are about to make a comeback. The city is working on a new plan to upgrade its parks and recreational facilities damaged by Katrina and suffering from a lack of maintenance.

Moss Point leaders feel it's time to improve the quality of life for citizens.

"Get these projects going and get the recreation and parks back up and running in our city," Moss Point Recreational Director Donna Joseph said.

Joseph said Hurricane Katrina left few places for outdoor activities and relaxation.

"We have about 13 recreation facilities and mostly all of them had heavy storm damage," Joseph said. "Prior to the hurricane, some of our park facilities were in great disarray."

Moss Point Mayor Aneice Liddell agrees.

"At one time, we had poles down, lighting, dugouts that need to be repaired," Mayor Liddell said.

The leaders said they have been working with FEMA and MEMA to get federal dollars to rehab several activity spots, including a popular park on Belleview Street.

"FEMA and MEMA have to approve our bid package, and they have reviewed our first draft," Joseph said. "They did have a few things they wanted us to tweak, but once we get that back in for approval, then we will be ready to go for bid."

The Sue Ellen Recreational Facility is also on city's repair list.  Mayor Liddell said the storm wrecked everything from the rooftop to the floors.

"We need to just get it up and running.  We do have future plans of adding on to the building, but that will not be done now," Liddell said.

The city is also in process of selling Magnolia Park. They said the proceeds from the sale will help fund different beautification projects at the remaining city parks.

The mayor and Joseph believe improving Moss Point's parks will help keep young people on the right path.

"We talk about them being out and standing on the corner, but what have we done to give them a place where they can go and to enjoy themselves?  We have to do that."

Moss Point officials say they are hoping to reopen Sue Ellen Recreational Center before summer 2010. They have applied for additional grant funding to build a new recreational center.  The city has also teamed up with a design company in Moss Point to help give the parks a new look.

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