D’Iberville council considers adding a 2-percent tax to restaurant bills

Funds would be used to build new public safety center

D’IBERVILLE

A 2-percent tax could be added to the checks at D’Iberville restaurants.

At a 4 p.m. special meeting today, the council will vote to ask the state Legislature for permission to charge a tax at city restaurants and bars.

The new tax is similar to one Ocean Springs has, said City Manager Michael Janus. The money generated would build a new public safety center, which he said is “sorely needed.”

New roads planned by the Mississippi Department of Transportation would go through the fire station, and Janus said the police department has outgrown the former Harrison County senior building.

The restaurant tax would pay for a $10 million to $12 million combined facility, along with a new sports complex north of Interstate 10 and tourism expenses, Janus said.

When Ocean Springs asked to collect the tax, Mayor Connie Moran said at least 75 percent of the funds would come from visitors and Coast residents who lived outside the city. Ocean Springs is using the nearly $1 million in added yearly revenue to pay for public safety and recreation complexes.

With less than one month left in the legislative session, Janus said D’Iberville also will ask for permission to enter into 99-year leases for city-owned land, “if and when an opportunity comes available.” The property includes the Fountain Beach area for proposed casino development and land downtown where a French Market is planned.

Also on today’s agenda are:

n Permission from the state to rename the bridge over Interstate 10 on D’Iberville Boulevard “Veterans Memorial Bridge.”

n Approval for Court Programs Inc. to collect the city’s $2.2 million in outstanding court fines.

n A presentation by Triton Water Technologies on water usage and billing. The consulting firm determined about 23 percent of customers aren’t being adequately billed, at a yearly loss of up to $700,000.

If you go

@BR Boxtext bold lede colon:What: D’Iberville special meeting

When: 4 p.m. today

Where: City Hall, Automall Parkway

By MARY PEREZ – meperez@sunherald.com
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