Councilwoman: Hiller Park improvements not coming from Biloxi

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By the end of August, Hiller Park in Biloxi will see new basketball goals and further improvements to the park are expected to happen a few months down the road.

A new, handicap accessible playground will replace the aged one later this month. After that, new basketball goals will be put in, and the basketball and tennis courts will be resurfaced. The current conditions of these amenities haven't gone unnoticed by these Frisbee golfers.  

"That playground, it's definitely seen better days. It's worn down, but throughout the park there are places that have been upgraded more than that has. But hearing that they are going to replace it and upgrades is really nice to hear," said Dan Smith.

Councilwoman Dixie Newman said all the planned improvements are just a few of the items on her long to do list at Hiller Park. But she said there's been some confusion among her constituents about who is footing the bill in a city that's already has so many projects underway.

"I've had some questions about the city putting more money into the park when they believe other areas should be funded," Newman said.

She said Biloxi is only covering the park's maintenance, and fundraisers are paying for the enhancements.

"The last one we had was movie in the park. We showed 'Frozen' and we made about $800 off of hotdogs, hamburgers, cotton candy. It was just a blast, plus everything was really cheap," said Newman.

She said $5,000 was raised over the summer, and more fundraisers are being planned to fix or add other amenities to the park like a nature trail and dog park.

"We're really missing the boat here of not keeping it up. It's for our families. It's for the community. And everyone goes to the Town Green when we've got this big, beautiful space here that we're not utilizing," said Newman.

Newman said in addition to fixing up the park, she is also working on organizing consistent family oriented events. Newman said the county is also helping to pay for some work at Hiller Park. And Mississippi Power is offering volunteers. She said the biggest way to fix the park is through volunteers, donations and corporate sponsorships. 

If you're interested in learning how you can help, call (228) 388-7170.

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