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Delays with aquarium project leave taxpayers on the hook

D’IBERVILLE — City officials expected D’Iberville’s Ocean Expo Aquarium to be built and open by now and ticket prices to cover the cost of repaying the bond to purchase the land.

Instead the city may have to make the initial $318,668 payment — due in September — out of the general fund. Unless the payments can be deferred or otherwise satisfied, D’Iberville taxpayers also will have to cover the second payment in 2014 if the aquarium isn’t built by then.

Ground was broken for the estimated $75-million attraction in December 2011.

Moby Solangi, executive director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, tells The Sun Herald the site still sits vacant and the project has hit one snag after another.

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