City Council to discuss budget Tuesday morning

The Biloxi City Council has called a special meeting for Tuesday at 11 a.m. to discuss amending the FY ‘06 municipal budget, which had been approved days before Hurricane Katrina struck on Aug. 29.

The council also will meet Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m., where council members will be asked to continue the state of emergency in Biloxi and to amend the storm-debris removal contract to provide for the removal of debris from private property.

To see the agenda and available resolutions for both meetings, click here..

Hurricane Katrina by the numbers

Here are some of the numbers compiled regarding Hurricane Katrina:

3,167 – number of students in Biloxi public schools when classes resumed Sept. 26 (compared to 6,125 enrolled pre-storm)

5,014 – number of structures destroyed by storm (of 25,575 pre-storm structures)

$54,795 – amount of gaming tax city would be collecting per day if casinos were operating ($20 million a year; 35 percent of city’s annual operating revenue)

$92,000 – amount city agreed to pay in July for a $10 million business interruption insurance policy in the event casinos were shut down by a storm

$500,000 – amount of gaming tax state is losing per day with casinos closed down

More than 735,500 cubic yards – amount of storm debris that had been removed from city streets and public rights-of-way as of Oct. 14. (This amount of debris would cover a football field with and stand more than 30 stories high)

10 million to 12 million – number of annual visitors to Biloxi and Mississippi Gulf Coast pre-Katrina (compared to 1 million a year before gaming was legalized)..

$50 million – initial estimate on cost of removing debris from city rights of way (number will increase with removal of debris from private property, which is in the offing)

More than 75 million — number of viewers who have seen the 50-plus stories that networks and cable news channels have broadcast about Biloxi and its Katrina recovery efforts.

A look back at ‘Images of Biloxi’

One of the most popular pre-storm attrractions on the city web site is now back online. It’s a photographic montage created in 2004 by Journal Communications Inc. of Franklin, Tenn., a firm that publishes community and specialty magazines nationwide. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the video serves as a poignant reminder of what Biloxi was, and, as Mayor A.J. Holloway has vowed, will be again.

You can see the video by clicking on Images of Biloxi on the left side of the front page of the city web site, or just click here.

More Biloxi video: NBC Nightly News on Sunday aired at story about the nubmer of historic properties destroyed in Biloxi. The story, by NBC’s Mark Potter, is included among the video clips on or you can see it by clicking here.

News and notes

Traffic update: Biloxi Police Chief Bruce Dunagan reports that Keesler officials are opening the gate off Kensington Drive to help relieve Keesler traffic for weekday morning rush hour, and each weekday afternoon from 2 to 6 p.m., Biloxi Police are allowing motorists to access the I-110 loop via Porter Avenue and U.S. 90. To read the Traffic Update section of the city web site, which Public Works updates each morning, click here..

Red Cross and FEMA: The American Red Cross on Sunday closed its Biloxi Community Center location, but FEMA is now operating out of the Howard Avenue location.