For almost three years now, the Donal Snyder Community Center in Biloxi has opened its doors to thousands of people who enjoy playing or exercising there for free, but that will soon change. It has some people in the area asking, "why now?"
The response from locals to the Donal Snyder Community has been tremendous. Nathan Sullivan is the Biloxi Parks & Recreation Director.
"We've had so much of a response that in that brief two and a half year period, we've worn out the original equipment, and we recently replaced it with some new, higher quality commercial grade equipment."
The new fitness room equipment alone cost the city $60,000.
Starting February 16th, there will be a $2.00 daily fee for Biloxi residents to use the fitness room. Residents can also pay a monthly fee of $25.00, or a yearly fee of $200.00. Seniors will still have to pay, but qualify for a discounted rate of $100.00 a year.
Folks who live outside Biloxi must pay $5.00 a day, $35.00 a month or $250.00 a year. Seniors who do not live in Biloxi would be pay $150.00 a year.
The new rates don't sit well with Chris Nelson of Gulfport.
"I'm a little perturbed that the price is different for somebody who's not a Biloxi resident. I just live two miles right on the other of the Biloxi line and they want to charge me over double what they want to charge a Biloxi resident."
Most of the $4.4 million to build the Snyder Center came from Biloxi taxpayers, although Harrison County did pitch in $150,000.
Even with the new fees, many things at the Snyder Center will remain free like the walking track, game room, and gymnasium with basketball court. Swimming fees are still $1.00 a day and raquetball fees are still $3.00 an hour.