The vote on a controversial proposal to build a community center on Gulfport's Dedeaux Road was supposed to come at Wednesday's city council meeting. However, leaders decided to put those plans on hold.
Mayor Brent Warr is proposing a nearly $4 million community center. It would also have a police station and fire department, with much of the price tag to be picked up by FEMA.
After a lot of discussion and several comments from concerned residents, council members decided to table the issue.
Fire Chief Pat Sullivan says he favors putting a fire station there. Sullivan was disappointed a vote did not come on Wednesday.
"Number one, we are not the experts. When it comes to that property, the way that the property played out is that the architects have designed and laid out things that's going to make it work. They've made it work in other parts of the country. If we have to make it work, we can make it work," Sullivan said.
Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr was out of town Wednesday, but had hoped the council would approve the community center.
Mayor Warr issued this statement after the meeting:
"It is disappointing that this opportunity has been made into a political issue and has therefore put the residents of Orange Grove on the back-burner once again. There is no community park in Ward #7. The residents of Gulfport living north of I-10 have done so much to bring Gulfport back since Katrina and have been promised so much since annexation. The administration and the good honest people at FEMA were excited about the potential for this project. We will begin tomorrow to look for new ways to work harder to provide safe family oriented facilities for the residents of Orange Grove as well as the rest of the city of Gulfport and I am committed to continue to work with the members of our council to create positive results for all of our citizens."