Penny For Parks In Limbo

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(Southaven, MS) Glenn Stroupe says he’s been paying his “penny for parks” tax for at least a couple of years now, and he’s still waiting to see some of that money spent.

He’s beginning to think it could be going somewhere else.

”I think the money hasn’t been spent on what it was designated for and now they’re trying to divert it over to another purpose.”

So far there’s no concrete evidence of that, but it’s certain Southaven has spent little, if any of the tax it’s been collecting for park improvements.

One place where Southaven does want to spend some penny for parks money is at the Greenbrook Softball Complex, where Mayor Darren Musselwhite wants to spend 19-thousand bucks for design of a new gift shop and cooking pavilion.

Mayor Musselwhite declined to talk on camera but did tell us he wants to spend the Greenbrook money as a show of good faith that the money will go to parks.

Problem is, citizens can’t use Greenbrook, and nearby Snowden grove ball parks unless they’re part of a tournament.

Meantime, Alderman Ray Florez has said he doesn’t want to spend penny for parks money until the state extends the “repealer” clause which keeps the tax on the books.

Musselwhite blames the repealer for preventing some of the big expenditures promised under the parks plan, like new senior citizen and tennis centers.

He says a permanent tax would allow the city to issue bonds and pay off big projects.

But citizens remain skeptical.

”They’re trying to make them a slush fund, a slush fund tax, just put it where they want to.”

Stroupe wants the legislature to let the park tax die and hold Southaven leaders accountable.

”I want them to keep the repealer in place and just make it go away.”

But the Mayor says that would prevent many of the promised improvements.