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Deep in debt, Pascagoula officials consider selling city parks

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi city trying to dig out of a deep budget gap is considering selling some of its parks for residential or commercial development instead.

Pascagoula’s city staff is researching the idea to help close a $14 million budget shortfall. The Sun Herald reports that’s one of several ideas up for debate, along with raising taxes, cutting services or raising city employees’ health costs.

But it’s unclear whether developers are looking for land in Pascagoula, where the last major city subdivision was built before Hurricane Katrina struck nearly 13 years ago. In recent years, some landowners have donated their lots to charity, unable to sell them.

Among the parks that could be up for sale are parks with walking and jogging trails, basketball goals, exercise stations, swings and tennis courts.