FunTime USA Hits a Roadblock

The rebirth of FunTime USA could be put on hold if a group of residents have anything to do with it. Today, Georgia Place residents told News 25 it’s not that they don’t want to see an amusement park return to the Coast but instead they are worried their quiet neighborhood could become a noisy nightmare.
Mike Marshall and his neighbors in the Georgia Place subdivision are worried life could soon become a little bit nosier. Their neighborhood is just behind the property where FunTime USA is preparing to make its grand return post-Hurricane Katrina. For now, construction to rebuild the amusement park is on hold because a zoning change from light to major business on a part of the property must first be made. Gulfport City Councilman Ricky Dombrowski tells News 25 because of worried residents he won’t vote in favor of changing that zone.
Dombrowski and Georgia Place residents both agree, it’s not that they don’t want to see FunTime USA rebuilt, it’s just that they don’t want to see it rebuilt on this particular property. “Go-carts and trains and roller coasters and all the excited kids and we want that, we feel like it is just not the right location,” said Marshall.
FunTime USA owner and general manager Rafe O’Neal says this location is the prime spot for the amusement park and as far as any noise concerns, he has it under control. “The noisiest thing in the park will be our go-carts which are no noisier than the cars passing us on Highway 90. We’re putting those right next to Highway 90. I think I did the measurement and it’s about 500 feet away from anyone’s back door and we’re also going to have a privacy fence, a buffer building and some fast growing trees back there to mitigate that sound issue.”
As the city and FunTime USA owners continue to work details out, the ride to the new and improved FunTime USA has come to a halt, at least until next week.
Gulfport City Council could make a zone change to allow FunTime USA to continue construction during Tuesday’s meeting at 1:30. FunTime USA owners are encouraging the public to attend in support. Georgia Place residents tell News 25 they will also be in attendance to plea for the amusement park to move somewhere else.

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