- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - The city of Pascagoula will renovate and upgrade existing ball fields rather than build a new sportsplex to consolidate baseball, softball and soccer activities.

The city is looking at about $10 million in ball field and sports upgrades, including soccer lighting, revamped baseball and softball fields and possibly some tennis improvements.

A 2 percent prepared food tax - if approved by voters - would generate between $765,000 and $935,000 that would be used to pay for the bond over 20 years, leaders have said.

If a 60 percent majority is garnered and the tax passes, it would affect all prepared food in Pascagoula - from fast food, to sit-down restaurants, to grocery and convenience store delis.

According to local media reports, no election on the tourism tax has been scheduled.

Council members, after discussing the topic with constituents over the last several months, agreed this week that improvements would be the best route to take.

Councilman Scott Tipton, a former member of the recreation commission, said it was the city’s “safest bet” and that more recreation considerations could come later on.

Councilwoman Brenda Simkins agreed it was “the most responsible thing to do, from a fiscal standpoint and given the city’s current financial position.”

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