City Hall eyes moving south on infrastructure work

Since he became mayor 18 months ago, Andrew “FoFo” Gilich has said more than once that when infrastructure work moves south of the CSX railway in east Biloxi, it will not be nearly as disruptive as the work has been for residents, businesses and motorists north of the CSX railway.

In fact, Gilich, on occasion, has proclaimed, “South of the tracks is going to be a whole new ballgame, my ballgame.”

And today, in the weekly “City Desk” podcast, Chief Administrative Officer Mike Leonard says work has been underway for some time to give the city more control of the pending infrastructure work, which will cover the area south of the CSX railway, from about I-110 to Point Cadet.

The new contract, which will be out for bid in several weeks, will have limitations on where and when a contractor can work, an effort to avoid the situation of the north contract, where many of the 55 miles of roads have been reduced to dirt for months.

“We’ll have specifications that limit the amount of time that a contractor would have to start work after he ripped up a street,” Leonard said. “The contractor has to start the utility work — the water and sewer — within 14 days of when the street is milled up.

‘And they have got to have 75 percent of the sewer in place and be paving the road before they can move to the next section of the city.”

Work on the south contract is expected to begin after the first of the year. Work on the north contract is epecxted to be complete in about 17 months.

Said Leonard: “These two will overlap. We’ll start the south contract and begin to do some of the early mobilization while the north contract is still finishing up.”
Hear Leonard on this week’s City Desk


Get a bird’s eye view of Division, Back Bay and Popp’s Ferry

A new aerial video on the city’s YouTube page shows the status of work on two main thoroughfares in the east Biloxi infrastructure work, Division Street and Back Bay Boulevard, and the nearly complete widening work on Popp’s Ferry Road.

In fact, the video traces the entire length of Division Street, from Oak Street to Forrest Avenue, and Back Bay Boulevard from near Boomtown Casino to Oak Street. The Popp’s Ferry Road video shows the widening work from Cedar Lake Road to the city limits at Lamey Street.
See the six-minute video


Strengthening the mind of law enforcers

Today’s police officer is equipped with body armor, sidearms, tasers, body cameras and other physical protection, but a former Army officer and author told a gathering of local law enforcers in Biloxi today that it’s just important to have mental protection, too.

More than 350 city, county and federal law enforcers from 50 agencies gathered at the Biloxi Civic Center today to see “The Bullet Proof Mind,”a seminar by Dave Grossman, a retired United States Army lieutenant colonel and American author.

Grossman presented the challenges of the protectors of the innocent, the mind set of a predator and the realities of using deadly force.  He also presented models for action that ensure professionals can train for and overcome unique mental stressors, such as PTSD.

“This training provides a local opportunity for officers, with no or very little travel and expenses associated with that,” Biloxi Police Chief John Miller said. “This is a joint effort between the Biloxi, Gulfport, and Pascagoula Police departments, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department and the Mississippi Attorney General.” 

Grossman is an expert on the field of human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime and author of “On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society”. 
See images from the training


Address painting on curb is not city-sanctioned

City Code Enforcement officers are looking for workers who have been placing notices on mailboxes, primarily in west Biloxi, offering to paint street addresses on pavement to make house numbers more visible to first responders.

“Caleb S.” is offering to provide the service for $25, but the city has no record of a permit for the work or a business privilege license.

The note left on mailboxes says the workers will paint a black background on the street, topped with four-inch numbers displaying the address of the home.

“The Code of Ordinances classifies these operators as ‘Solicitors,'” said Community Development Director Jerry Creel. “They are allowed to go door to door and leave handbills, pamphlets, etc. on the door of a structure only. They are not allowed to post anything to a mailbox, vehicle, etc. The problem with the service being offered is that they are offering to paint addresses on curbs which are ‘city- owned property’ and is not allowed without the approval of the administration.”

Anyone seeing a person placing the notices or painting the street should contact the city’s Code Enforcement office at 228-435-6280.


News and notes

Boat parade kick-off: The Christmas on the Water Kick-off Party, open to all boat owners, is tonight beginning at 6 at the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum.  Boat owners will be able to register their boat for the water parade, which takes place the first weekend in December.  To see the flyer, click here.

Event location change: The Special Needs Halloween Costume Ball, open to children and adults with physical and mental disabilities, is Friday and will now be at the Donal Snyder Community Center.  It was originally set for the Frank Gruich Community Center. To see the updated flyer, click here.