"Two Cents" Hopes To Make Change In Ocean Springs Parks - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

"Two Cents" Hopes To Make Change In Ocean Springs Parks

When Donna Brown looks at Freedom Field, she cringes.

"The conditions are deplorable, and the kids need to grow up with the recreational facilities," said Brown, the chairwoman for "Two Cents Makes Sense."  

That's why she says a two-percent tax on your bill at restaurants and bars in Ocean Springs is crucial. The only alternative is a thirty percent increase on property taxes.

"I can't afford to have tax upon tax on my property taxes. But I can afford to go out maybe three nights a week instead of four," Brown said.  

Many nights during the week, the two sets of bleachers at Freedom Field are full. That's because t-ball, soccer and football teams all share this facility throughout the year. But a new sports complex at Highway 57 could alleviate that problem. 

Nine million dollars of the restaurant and bar tax would fuel construction of a Highway 57 sports complex. Thirteen million dollars would go to other planned recreation projects.

"You can have t-ballers on one field, the middle school on another; mom and dad can stand in the middle and watch both, while there's an adult game in one quadrant and a football game in another. It keeps it together and puts it where it needs to be," Brown said.  

The city estimates it will take about 25 years to pay off the debt. Unlike a property tax increase, the levy will be discontinued.

"Once it's done, it's done. It goes away! And if it doesn't go away, I'd be the first one on the steps of city hall saying 'You lied to me,' and you know what, the citizens of Ocean Springs are not being lied to on this one," Brown said.

The polls will be open from 7:00am to 7:00 pm Tuesday, but the voting locations might be different from where you voted in November.

  •  Ward 1 -- City Hall on Porter Avenue
  •  Ward 2 -- Villa Maria on Washington Avenue
  •  Ward 3 & 4 -- National Guard Armory on Pine Avenue
  •  Ward 5 & 6 -- Civic Center on Highway 90

You must reside in the city limits to vote on the proposed tax.

By Keli Rabon

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