City to assume management of Port Commission

The Biloxi City Council on Thursday approved a resolution introduced by Mayor A.J. Holloway for the city to take over day-to-day management of the Biloxi Port Commission.

The Council also approved a resolution that will ask the state Legislature to abolish the six-member board that oversees the operation of three harbors, wharves, boat launches and several public fishing piers around the Biloxi peninsula.

The action was in line with advice from the Stennis Institute of Government, which last week told council members that the city should consider entering a temporary agreement with the Port Commission and seek to have the board dissolved.

Holloway said he called the special meeting Thursday because the Port Commission risked losing a $400,000 FEMA grant because it did not have the $50,000 needed in matching funds.

Under the agreement proposed by Holloway, which the Port Commisison passed earlier Thursday, the city would be responsible for funding port operations from revenue earned from slip or property leases the port now has.

Among the immediate expenses the city faces is the $50,000 needed for the FEMA grant.

“I hate to see us leave $400,000 on the table,” Holloway said. “And we stood to lose that money if there was no match. We’ll also be in a better position to repair some of the slips that are not being leased at the moment and get that revenue stream flowing again.”

With today’s action, Port Commissioners have given the day-to-day management to the city. Employees of the commission will continue to be employees of the Port Commission while the city determines staffing needs.

To see the complete agenda and resolutions, click here.