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Biloxi group wants referendum on new ballpark

Caillavet Park

A local group is seeking to ask voters to approve public funding of a new Biloxi ballpark and will work to gather 1,500 signatures to force a referendum.

The Steps Coalition has announced it will work to force the referendum, but it must be done quickly: 1,500 signatures must be gathered by June 18.  If the referendum drive is successful, the issue will be put to voters this fall. Such a move is not unusual: We can’t recall a new-ballpark that didn’t generate some level of opposition, and a referendum is a popular way for opponents to make a mark. From WLOX:

Steps Coalition Director Roberta Avila said, “As a resident of Biloxi, I am wary of ‘build it and they will come.’ We can’t assume that just because we invest $21 million that this ball park will see the fruition and benefits that have been touted.”

The Gulf Coast Business Council’s research foundation estimates the stadium development will spur an additional $10 million annually in visitor spending on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

“We have heard the upside of the project, but we have not heard what might be downside on the project,” said Avila’s husband and Biloxi businessman Milton Grishman. “Citizens in Biloxi have the right to more information, before we sign off on a $21 million bond for a project that will be built on leased land.”

Rendering courtesy of Dale Associates Architects.

RELATED STORIES: Bennett, Young, Bryant unveil plans for new Biloxi ballpark; Bennett: We can open Biloxi ballpark in 2014; Biloxi commits to borrowing $21 million for new ballpark; Another run at affiliated ball in Biloxi; Talk about Biloxi ballpark emerges again


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