Harrison County

Speed bump is removed for go-kart track in Biloxi

Arthur McInnis and daughter Maya, 6, of Pascagoula make their way down the tube slide in 1999 at Slippery Sams water park on U. S. 90 in Biloxi in 1999. New curves and family fun at the site could come next spring if the Biloxi Council approves the permit on Tuesday.
Arthur McInnis and daughter Maya, 6, of Pascagoula make their way down the tube slide in 1999 at Slippery Sams water park on U. S. 90 in Biloxi in 1999. New curves and family fun at the site could come next spring if the Biloxi Council approves the permit on Tuesday. Sun Herald file

Councilman George Lawrence had second thoughts about calling for a public hearing on a proposed high-tech go-kart track at the sight of the former Slippery Sams amusement park.

At Tuesday’s meeting Lawrence asked for the hearing, saying residents had questions about the proposed attraction, Finishline Performance Karting. All seven council members agreed to schedule the hearing.

After the meeting Lawrence said the concerns were about noise and fumes from the go-kart tracks that would be built where Slippery Sams operated for 28 years until Hurricane Katrina.

Late Thursday the agenda for next week’s meeting was released to the public. It shows Lawrence has introduced a resolution rescinding his original request for the hearing and another calling for the approval of the conditional use for the track at 1782 Beach Boulevard.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Biloxi City Hall.

The change comes after a storm of comments in reaction to the Sun Herald article posted on Facebook after Tuesday’s meeting. Those who commented said South Mississippi needs more family attractions and criticized Lawrence for putting up a speed bump to slow the opening of this go-kart track.

The project was reviewed by the Biloxi Development Review Committee, where developer Joey Spear with Greater Gulf Development described a 3/4-mile regulation track at the front of the property near U.S. 90, and a 1,120-foot junior track to the back of the property that runs along McDonnell Avenue, just east of Veterans Avenue. He told the DRC he’s ordered 43 SODIKARTs with gasoline-powered engines that run fast at 50 miles per hour, yet are quiet enough to carry on a normal conversation while operating.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda are:

▪  A presentation by Lindsay Ward and Gerald Blessey on the Downtown Restoration Plan

▪  A report to Council President Tisdale on a plan of action for special events, such as spring break

▪  The first reading of an ordinance to granting a Franchise Agreement to Cable One for 10 years

▪  The second reading of a request to change the zoning and allow the owners of an historic home on Beach Boulevard to turn it into an events center

▪  Resolutions allowing four retiring members of the Biloxi Police Department, Franklin McKeny, George Chaix, Keith Wilding and Michael Shaw, to purchase their sidearms

Mary Perez: 228-896-2354, @MaryPerezSH

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