Pascagoula's council talks bond issue for recreation improvements

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) – Pascagoula's Recreation Commission is asking for nearly $17 million to upgrade parks and launch some new projects.  The commission is hoping a bond issue can help pay for the improvements.  But, the city isn't saying yes to the deal just yet.

Recreation Director Darcie Crew would love all Pascagoula's parks to be state of the art attractions for the young and young at heart to enjoy.

"Why can't we have the facilities that the other towns have that are beautiful and easily maintainable," Crew said.

Crew and the Recreation Commission are pushing for improvements. For example, at the 12th street ball park, they want to spend $2.4 million renovating the fields, and building a concession stand and restrooms.

"The bathrooms are in bad shape. The concession is outdated, it needs to be updated," Crew said.

At IG Levy North Park the plan is to give the spot a $300,000 makeover. The plan is to have new playground equipment, a fishing pier, and a gigantic splash pad for wet, wild fun.

"Everyone is really enjoying the splash pad at Beach Park, and we don't have the funding to another splash pad."

A new lighting system at the city's soccer complex and a $4 million community and performing arts center are some of the other wish lists items include.

"The recreation commission has asked the council to consider a bond issue up to $16.8 million for projects that are a listed," Crew said. "The cities debt is very low and the interest rates are very low so it is a good time to borrow."

The city's human resources Director Bruce Knott said during these tough economic times the wish list will have to be streamlined.

"What we are not going to do is get a bond for nice to have projects. Any projects that we do will be needed projects and not just things we want to do versus what we need to do," Knott said.

Knott said council members are currently looking at ways to get the best bond deal without raising taxes. The council is expected to make a decision before the end of the year.

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