Orange Grove Park Plans On Hold For Now

There's new controversy over Gulfport's plans for a new Dedeaux Road Community Center. Earlier this year, city council members voted to buy six acres of land. Now the administration wants the city to buy three more acres and put a park there. However, council members aren't too sure about the deal.

"We can't keep stringing the owner along," Chief Administrative Officer Dr. John Kelly said.

Dr. Kelly and city officials say the time to buy the land for a park is now, but some council members don't agree.

"It's my understanding if we buy that back part, we just can't flip-flop it around," Ward 6 Councilman Neil Resh said.

Some members, like Barbara Nalley, believe the city paid too much for the first six acres where the community center will go. They also feel the $180,000 price tag for the proposed park is also too high. That's why they tabled the proposal in a six-to-one vote.

Mayor Brent Warr says the council made a bad decision.

"This individual has been working very hard with the city and he's got a great piece of property, and we're buying it at a bargain. And it's just a shame that we're getting such resistance," Mayor Warr said.

This isn't the first time council has tabled the proposal, but it's the last opportunity the mayor thinks the city will have to move forward.

"We have been working on this a long time. It's just a shame that the folks in Orange Grove can't have a community park that we've been trying very hard to provide for them," the mayor said.

The council voted to table the proposal until their next meeting. In the meantime, council members want to meet with the city administration, the property owner and representatives from FEMA.

Mayor Brent Warr says he's willing to meet with the council, but says he doesn't feel it will do any good at this point.