Delay in Vote on Baseball Grant has Council Members Worried

Contributor: Nick Patrick
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Updated: 2/04/2014 9:34 pm
Even with a tight deadline, the Biloxi City Council has decided to table several issues regarding the stadium until next week. First it was the icy weather, then it was contracts coming in slowly that put the Biloxi City Council behind on getting funds approved for baseball stadium construction. Now, because one city council member is out of town, the council has decided to postpone the vote one more time. More than a year of planning has gone into the development and design of a new stadium for downtown Biloxi, but it will be at least another week before funding can be secured. Vincent Creel, the Biloxi Public Affairs Manager, says, "There has been a lot of talk about the baseball meeting and when is the city council going to vote on baseball and they were scheduled to vote this evening on it, but now, from what I understand, they are going to push this back to Monday or Tuesday of next week." Another week's delay will put even more of a time crunch on the city, which is already racing against a 14 month deadline to complete the stadium. With a time frame this tight, members of the council are feeling the strain.

Robert Deming, a Biloxi Councilman, says, "I can’t imagine any of us not feeling under pressure. We're on a deadline. We have to make the deadline for the team to play in 2015. This is a lot of money we are contributing." Fifteen million in grant money and 21 million dollars in bonds is what the council will be voting to approve next week. If the delay goes on much longer, there could be a hefty penalty. Creel also says, "There has been talk of a 10 thousand dollar penalty per home game if we’re not ready to start when the season starts in April." At least one council member says the voting delay is an important one and the decision to approve this amount of money needs to be taken seriously. Deming also says, "I think we owe that to the citizens of Biloxi and to all the taxpayers here. The decisions we make need to be knowledgeable and well informed." The council could take up the vote at next week's meeting. News 25 will keep you posted. Council members said it’s too early to tell if the vote delay will impact the construction deadline and no penalty for missed games has been set yet.

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