(Southaven, MS) After weeks cooped up inside in cold weather Brandon Eddins and his little 4-year-old made a beeline to the park to play in warmer temperatures.
”We like bringing ‘em out to the Southaven parks, so we were really excited to see all the improvements that the parks were supposed to have.”
In 2010, Southaven pushed a splashy, ambitious plan to spend 35 million dollars to upgrade parks and build new amenities.
The “Penny for Parks” tax on restaurant and hotel tabs would pay for it, but so far the city has just over one million dollars in the bank.
But Tuesday night Mayor Darren Musselwhite announced that plan may have to undergo some changes.
”So it was kinda deflating to learn that it wasn’t happening anymore,” said Eddins.
Mayor Musselwhite says the tax is due to expire this summer and the city has only raised a fraction of what it needs for new senior citizen and tennis complexes.
He says the plan depends on the state extending the tax long enough for the city to issue bonds to pay for improvements.
The announcement shocked a lot of people who’ve been paying the park tax for years, but have seen hardly any of the money from it, spent.
Political activists call it another broken promise.
”I thought when we struggled and got the changed made that was necessary to make, that things would change and the town would be a little more people friendly, but so far I haven’t seen those changes,” said Glenn Stroupe of Southaven Concerned Citizens.
The board did vote to spend 19-thousand bucks on a ballpark open only for tournaments.
Aldermen say they’ll meet to set new priorities.
”It should be a good idea to invest in the neighborhood parks” said Eddins.
He hopes that’s where Southaven puts it’s penny for parks now.