Edgewater Bay Vote Is This Thursday

As Edgewater Bay member Duane Hohn putted on the second hole, he talked about how important it is to protect the 18 hole back bay golf course.  "We don't need anymore houses right here," the Biloxi man said, in reference to the development proposed for the golf course.  "I mean we have plenty of those around and I think the real estate has peaked."

Hohn's playing partners both agreed with his assessment.  They'd like to see Biloxi buy and preserve this 118 acre golf course.  Biloxi resident Hank Fitzgibbon said, "I think it's important to the city to have a nice place to go and play golf and have a park."

The price tag for Biloxi to buy Edgewater Bay is $7.7 million. A group that calls itself Citizens for Fair Government says that's too much. It ran an ad in Sunday's newspaper that urged citizens to vote against the purchase.

According to the chairman of the opposition group Webb Lee, "I just think it's unwise. Not responsible government as far as I'm concerned."    Lee's "vote no" group has collected 5000 signatures from people who wanted a say on the golf course question.  "A golf course is not the best and highest use of that piece of property," he said.  "It's an unending cost to the taxpayers of the city of Biloxi."

In response to the vote no ad, 7000 yellow fliers will appear in Tuesday's newspaper. They're from Edgewater Bay neighbors, and a group called "Citizens for Smart Development."  That group wants the back bay golf course to remain a golf course.  Golf course supporter Leo Burton said, "The only logical way to prevent the development now and in the future is to buy it as a golf course and operate it as a recreational facility for the city."

Thursday's Edgewater Bay election is for registered voters in Biloxi. You vote where you vote in city races. Newly annexed Woolmarket residents vote at the fire station. Edgewater Bay owners say one way or another, the golf course will be sold by the end of the year.

by Brad Kessie