City nears halfway mark on debris removal; other news

Biloxi has cleared nearly half of the storm debris from city streets and neighborhoods, and on Friday afternoon the city will hold a public hearing that will lead to the clearing of debris from as many as 2,000 properties stretching the length of the Biloxi peninsula.

The public hearing, which will begin at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall, is a chance for owners of debris-strewn properties to either sign a right-of-entry agreement allowing the city to perform the work or to appeal the city’s decision and present their own plan for removing the debris from their property.

Under the city’s plan, three contractors have had dozens of teams hauling debris from city streets and rights of way since Sept. 11, and the teams began removing debris from private property Oct. 29. As part of the FEMA-approved plan, the city has published parcel numbers, owners of record and addresses for thousands of debris-strewn properties in an attempt to notify owners about the city’s intent to remove storm debris from their property.

The city is continuing to encourage property owners to sign right-of-entry agreements, but, regardless of whether they do, any clearing of private property will be driven by whether the debris on the property poses a threat to public safety or public health.

Almost 2,000 ROEs have been signed, and 850 of those properties have been cleared, according to Jonathan Kiser of the Neel-Schaffer, the firm monitoring Biloxi’s debris-removal efforts. Kiser said a large number of the 4,200 properties listed in an eight-page legal notice published in mid-December may require crews to remove debris.

“We’ve made significant progress on our debris removal efforts,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said, “and this last batch of public notices will mean that we will have advertised our intentions for virtually all areas of our city.

“Property owners who have not done so as yet are encouraged to visit the Community Development Department and complete a right-of-entry agreement to help expedite this process.”

You can learn more about the city’s debris removal efforts – and view the upcoming series of public notices, or download a right of entry agreement – by clicking here.