Monday, February 28, 2011

Buccaneer State Park one step closer to reclaiming its former glory

Hancock County's Buccaneer State Park, once the only revenue-producing state park in Mississippi, is one step closer to returning to its glory days. Prior to Katrina, Buccaneer sported the immensely popular Buccaneer Bay Water Park, which helped to draw upwards of 500,000 visitors to Hancock County each year. Katrina, of course, took all of that away.

Buccaneer partially reopened to the public in May of 2010. Lacking funds for a complete reconstruction, though, the park isn't what it used to be. Thanks to the work of Sen. David Baria (D-Bay St. Louis), that may be about to change. Last week, Baria inserted language into a $90M bond bill that would provide $6M in funds for the reconstruction of the missing parts of Buccaneer State Park. The bill passed the Senate, and now awaits House action. If successful, Baria's efforts will likely bring back the $800,000-$900,000 profit Buccaneer saw each year, and the thousands in tax revenue that accompanied that.

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