Vote on baseball items delayed - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Vote on baseball items delayed

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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Several key decisions needed to move baseball in Biloxi forward were postponed Tuesday evening.

The reason, Ward 2 Councilman Felix Gines was away on National Guard duty. Construction for the ball park was on the fast track to begin soon.

Another delay isn't what baseball supporters wanted, but it will be another week before city council members will vote on key items needed to ultimately get the baseball stadium off the ground.  

Gines absence was enough for council members to put off voting on the $15 million from the state and the $21 million bond issue.  

Ward 4 Councilman Robert Deming says while he doesn't like the delay he can't imagine making a decision on such a large project without all the council members present.  

"There's no way to express how important this project is to get right and in that sense we have to have the opinion and the perception from all the council members. So I wouldn't support moving forward on a vote of a project this size and magnitude without all of us being present," said Deming.  

Ground was broken in January, but before the real work can begin the city has more to vote on besides funding.  

"The agreement between the team and the city and the agreement between the Beau Rivage and the city, where we could build the stadium and the garage on the Beau Rivage property. So we have to have an agreement with the Beau Rivage to do that," said Biloxi Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols.  

City leaders plan on meeting next Tuesday at 10 a.m. and believe votes will be made then on the baseball items. If decisions aren't made it could delay the stadium's opening when the team's season is set to begin April 5, 2015. The city agrees to use its best efforts to have the stadium available on or before April 18, 2015.  

And for every home game the minor league baseball team misses, the city could face a $10,000 penalty clause. 

"Best case scenario will be that we have all the contracts approved and we get the grant agreement for the governor to review and all that stuff. And we'll be ready to go," said Nichols.

That special meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 10 a.m. at the Biloxi city hall.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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