The City Council meeting this morning was fairly tense, with members of the City Council questioning several aspects of the proposed plan and raising several concerns. Now that the council has seen the final draft, they say they are ready and willing to move forward after tackling some key issues. Time is of the essence when it comes to the construction of the new baseball stadium in downtown Biloxi. The deadline for the construction project is just 14 months away. Paul Tisdale, Biloxi City Council President, says, "I have every confidence in the people we will be working with, but time is critical and things must really flow smoothly.” Some city officials say issues in a project of this magnitude could result from problems with the 36 million dollar budget, but architect, Doug Dale, says he's confident the project will not exceed the set budget. Dale says, "We have been working, as we’ve explained to the council, very diligently on what the design elements costs, so we can stay in the 36 million dollar overall project cost.” Another concern is a penalty clause that would result in a 10,000 dollar fine for every home game missed, but the city is working to amend that issue. Tisdale also says, "We anticipated having three or four months more of construction time, so that has changed, obviously, and my guess is that clause will likely change." Delays could also stem from poor weather conditions. Hurricane season begins June 1st and runs through November 30th.
This is why both sides of the city agree construction needs to begin. Dale also says, "We think timing is good. We don't need any delays. We need to move forward with a lot of enthusiasm." Tisdale also says, "I hope it's a very mild or non-existent hurricane season, as all of us do on the Coast." The next step for the city is issuing of bonds that will fund most of the project, but it is unclear when that will take place. The City Council made it clear that the stadium cannot exceed the 36 million dollar budget by even one cent. A groundbreaking ceremony on the project is scheduled for this Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m.