Moss Point prepares to reopen storm damaged ballparks - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Moss Point prepares to reopen storm damaged ballparks

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) -

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) – Moss Point is gearing up to reopen all its hurricane damaged ball fields in few weeks. The recreational department director said it has been a struggle to locate funding for repairs. Citizens see this progress as a home run for the city.

"I like to be practicing on the fields, playing baseball," Octavious Webber said. 

Little Octavious can't practice his swing on Moss Point's ball fields since Hurricane Katrina's wind and water damaged most of the facilities. 

"I miss being able to hit, run, slide," Webber said. 

Four of the city's popular parks were badly in need of repairs after the storm. Recreational Director Donna Joseph said several dugouts, signs, and concession stands took the hardest hit. 

"It was just totally destroyed," Joseph said. 

The price tag for the repairs was more than $300,000. And Joseph said the city had to cut through red tape for federal funding. 

"When people are looking at why it's not happing, why it is not happing now, they don't understand how difficult and challenging the process is and it does not happen overnight." 

After nearly five years, the city finally secured enough FEMA funding to repair and revive the parks. 

"Everything from cosmetic to getting it up to par and looking the way it should look."

Joseph said the city is also pitching in to help upgrade the parks' look and make them more hurricane resistant. 

"Metal roofing, storm roofing to kind of sustain it a little bit if there is another storm.  Also,  make it more safe and sufficient so the kids can play." 

Joseph promised all the parks will be ready for play in April and that's good news for Octavious.

"I am glad that the fields are opening again," he said. 

The recreational department is also using city and county funds to repair the local tennis courts, which should be open by summer.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved

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