Funds from one percent sales tax move projects forward in Hattiesburg

Funds from one percent sales tax move projects forward in Hattiesburg

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - There’s an update to projects underway in the City of Hattiesburg, funded by revenue from the city’s new one percent sales tax collected from money spent at hotels and restaurants.

The drainage problem at the E 9th Street ballpark is being addressed as new drains, culverts and curbs will help divert water from the facility.

Also, the baseball field will be leveled in such a way that the water will naturally run off in order to keep the playing surface from staying wet.

The final phase of the project, which is expected to be completed by the end of spring, will see improvements to the lighting around the park to enhance safety and the quality of the game for players and fans.

Meanwhile, a few blocks away, a new outdoor basketball, pickleball and tennis court is being constructed on E 8th Street behind Ebenezer Baptist Church, located beside Chain Park.

Pickleball is a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong and involves both a paddle and a plastic ball with holes.

This will be a shared-use facility for both the public and members of the church.

Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker says the one percent sales tax is helping to provide the city with much-needed funding for the planned projects.

"The list of 17 or 18 projects that we brought forward came directly from the people of Hattiesburg, and so far we've been able to stay within budget. We've been able to check these items off our list and go forward in such a way where we're collecting a little more money than we thought we were going to," said Barker. "We will also be able to begin rolling out new sidewalk projects as well."

Other projects in the works include renovating the roof at the old Hattiesburg American building, which will house the future Community Arts percenter.

Hattiesburg voters overwhelmingly approved the new one percent tax on hotels and restaurants in 2019.

The money will go to fund the renovation of Reed Green Coliseum at the University of Southern Mississippi and 17 of the city’s parks and recreation projects.

Copyright 2020 WDAM. All rights reserved.