Long Beach Town Green falling behind schedule

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Children in Long Beach can't cool-off on the new splash pad just yet.

"Oh yeah, I'm anxious," said Long Beach Mayor Billy Skellie. "We intended to have the children on the splash pad for the Summer, which obviously hasn't happened yet. And we're looking almost to get them back in school before the splash pad will be open. I'm disappointed about that."

And families will have to wait awhile longer before they can hear the sound of music floating through the open amphitheater. The new Harper McCaughan Town Green on Jeff Davis Avenue is not quite ready.

"It was actually really supposed to be finished at the end of March, and with different hang-ups, material delays, things they had ordered special supplies that were late," said Mayor Skellie.

Then, the project hit another roadblock, what the mayor calls, "structural issues."

"Some little, I might say, defects in work that they are having to take care of, which they will take care of. But it's making it drag out a little longer," Mayor Skellie said.

Many Long Beach merchants are also anxiously waiting for the project to be over.

"It does get to a point when it gets frustrating sometimes," said Donald Frazer.

Frazer co-owns the Mex Express downtown. He is part of a group of concerned Long Beach business owners working to promote the Town Green. The group is planning to sponsor live concerts and movie nights at the park.

"With this kind of amphitheater, you put 200-300 people there or you put 20 people there, and it's free exposure that I wouldn't have to go out and get. So we're fully behind this," said Frazer.

They are hoping the Town Green will open by September.

"It's a long time coming, but the end is near. So we do see the finish line," said Frazer.

"They're excited. I'm excited. We feel like it will bring energy downtown," said Mayor Skellie.

The city also plans to move the World War II Memorial at City Hall to the Town Green. The entire project costs $1.6 million.

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