Coalition continues to push for signatures - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Coalition continues to push for signatures

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

At least one group is apprehensive about the proposed stadium and members are trying to rally support to have the issue decided by the people.

On Saturday the Concerned Citizens Taxpayer Coalition organized a drive to collect signatures from registered Biloxi voters to force a vote on the money Biloxi plans to borrow to help build the stadium, but  the response so far wasn't quite what they had hoped.

Coalition members spent the day going door-to-door in Biloxi trying to gather signatures to force a referendum to let citizens vote on any bond money used for a proposed stadium in downtown Biloxi. 

"Many of the people who have signed our petition are not against the concept of a baseball stadium, but what we felt like is that the whole concept moved to quickly and there wasn't community input," member of the Concerned Citizen Taxpayer Coalition Roberta Avila.

Thirty-five million dollars is the estimated cost for the minor league baseball stadium. The City of Biloxi wants to issue $21 million in bond money to help pay for the stadium.

The coalition needs their petition to be signed by 1,500 registered voters by Tuesday, June 18.

 On Saturday, the group had only around a hundred names on paper.

"We're kinda behind the eight ball on this getting signatures, but I think community residents have to step up to the plate to use a baseball phrase and download the petition walk their neighborhood get those signatures or neighbor residents who have the same concerns," Avila said.

Avila and her organization say they like to see two things done. One they'd like Biloxi residents to be able to select where the best locations is for the stadium and two they'd like the bond issue up for a vote.  

"We've seen projects that have happened in the past where there hasn't been community input. So we think that a robust discussion among all citizens in Biloxi who have an interest in is best," Avila said.

Supporters of the baseball stadium say if a referendum is issued it could potentially be a deal killer. They worry that if the stadium is delayed, any minor league teams they are currently negotiating could back out of a deal.

If you'd like to help or learn more about the Concerned Citizens Taxpayer Coalition click here.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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