Citizens create master plan to improve recreation in Pascagoula

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A group of Pascagoula citizens has come up with a plan to improve recreation around town. The chairman of the group talked with WLOX about the proposed improvements, and why city officials and citizens support is needed.

"We have good recreation, but we are looking for better recreation in the City of Pascagoula," resident Mike McElhaney said.

Mike McElhaney and several other recreation commission volunteers have been working hard with Recreation Director Darcie Crew to breathe new life into the parks, playgrounds and other activity spots around town.

"We did eight months of public meetings, public input survey, and really did our research to find out what our citizens desire," Crew said.

The citizens who created the master plan said it covers everything from park upgrades to new buildings to improve the quality of life in Pascagoula. Around 35 projects are part of the package, including replacing the aging fields in the city with a 14 field mega sports complex.

"Which includes everything from a t-ball field all the way up to the big boy fields," McElhaney said.

The plan also calls for a new performing arts center to go up near the local senior center. On that same land, they want to possibly add an aquatic facility with indoor water slides and a lazy river for some family fun.

"In our plan it provides something for everyone. It is greenways. It is trails. It is aquatic centers. It is a sports complex and it is waterfront access. It provides a little bit of something for every person in town," Crew said.

The master plan will cost $72 million.  The commission is proposing a two percent tax on prepared foods to pay for the projects. Before that can happen, city council members have to okay a referendum. Then the tax decision will be in the citizens' hands. The council vote should take place early next year.

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