Harrison County

‘Raining fireworks’ causing problems for MGM Park neighbors in Biloxi

Fireworks displays at MGM Park after some home games are popular with Biloxi Shuckers’ fans, but not everyone is happy with them.
Fireworks displays at MGM Park after some home games are popular with Biloxi Shuckers’ fans, but not everyone is happy with them. Sun Herald file

Bonnie White was back before the Biloxi Council on Tuesday, this time thanking the city for investigating her claims that fireworks from MGM Park caused the ceilings to crash in at her rental units across the street from the ballpark.

In August, White told the council she’d been complaining for more than a year about fireworks damage to her property at the corner of Caillavet and Jackson streets, just east of the stadium. She said the ceiling fell in on a tenant at 2 a.m., and the tenant moved out the next day. White said fireworks had caused $38,000 in damage to date and asked city officials to stop the fireworks shows and investigate.

Council President Paul Tisdale recommended she talk to Fire Chief Joe Boney about the problem.

Boney said his department did investigate. “We have determined that fireworks have damaged her roof,” he said. The investigation also found that people walking down Caillavet Street after the baseball games were “stung by raining fireworks,” he said. “We can not have that.”

F. Cliff Kirkland of the city of Biloxi and Tim Bennett of Overtime Sports discuss the challenges of staging non-baseball events at MGM Park. The city has a $21 million bond to pay off and they can’t earn enough money from baseball alone.

The weather is what’s causing the problem, Boney said, with the wind blowing the embers farther from the stadium than they should be. The fire department is working with the company that puts on the fireworks displays after some of the Biloxi Shuckers games, he said, to find a solution so that the fireworks show can continue, but without the problems.

When the permit for the fireworks company comes up for approval for next year, Bones said there will be some “drastic changes.”

Mick Leonard, Biloxi’s chief of administration, said a meeting of all the parties will be held in January to work out the issues. The first home game of the Biloxi Shuckers’ fourth season is April 11.

American Medical Response demonstrates how much damage firecrackers can do at a CPR 4 Kids class at Good Deeds Community Center in Gulfport, Mississippi.

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