For those of you that have been reading the commentary on Hotel and Restaurant Tax Still Topical in the Bay. The Sea Coast Echo also has additional background here. Disclaimer: A Civil lawsuit tells only one side of the story. The Chamber of Commerce has not yet filed a response.
Not sure when the proposal appears on the ballot but it appears that voters in the Pine Belt are more amenable than those on the coast to levying the tax for recreational purposes with Waynesboro being the latest to put on a levy:
With the Midtown development coming on line Hattiesburg has become a restaurant and bar “boom town”, which goes with the rest of the booming economy in the Pine Belt. People there don’t mind the extra penny on the dollar because the results are tangible. Most places parks and recreation are like mom and apple pie (most people I spoke with in Hattiesburg especially liked the fact the City was stepping up for its College as Reed-Green desperately needs a major renovation).
That was not true in Gulfport where the measure never made the ballot even though it would have benefited Parks and Recreation.
The more I peel back this onion the more it stinks folks and we’re not talking about chump change either. I start at the beginning of this disaster, when Singing River Hospital went hat in hand to the Mississippi Department of Health needing to update its Certificate of Need (CON).
The takeaway from the above is back in 2008 Singing River Hospital needed more office space and had vacant land available on the hospital’s campus to add a 55,000 square foot medical office building that was estimated to cost just over $13,000,000 equipped. Johnson Development of Alabama was hired to do the design and build.
From Lana Noonan, at last night’s Bay Council meeting (slightly edited for clarity):
Minutes ago Bay St. Louis Councilman-at-Large, Gary Knoblock motioned to have a commercial appraisal on the GTEK building at the corner of Sunset and the Highway 90 Service Road in Bay St. Louis, as a potential home for the Bay St. Louis Police Department. The motion was seconded by Ward 5 Councilman Buddy Zimmerman and passed unanimously.
During the discussion, Zimmerman offered that the city needs a plan to utilize public property. The discussion included the possible demolition of the current, unused Police Station at the corner of Highway 90 and Main Street, the subsequent sale of that property along with the sale of the Garden Center. Mayor Favre also stated the possibility of moving some city offices back to the old City Hall on Second St. and using the top floor of the City Hall on Highway 90 for the Police Department.
The demolition of the old Police Station could cost as much as twenty five to thirty thousand dollars due to asbestos remediation involved in the demolition. The commercial appraisals could cost an average of $1,000 to $2,500 each on Garden Center and GTEK.