Council extends waiver of fees for permits; other news and notes

The Biloxi City Council voted today to extend free permits to individuals either repairing or rebuilding their storm-damaged homes, saving residents anywhere from $25 to $250 or more for storm-related building permits.

The waiver, which had expired Aug. 31, has been extended for a year, until Aug. 31, 2009, but does not include commercial permits.

Mayor A.J. Holloway, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, had ordered that fees be waived for any city-issued permits for residential repairs. Businesses, however, were required to pay permit fees.

Overall, Biloxi residents have saved more than $210,000 in fees, based on $66 million in permits issued for residential storm repairs and $37 million in permits issued for rebuilds. The city has issued a total of about 24,000 permits of one type or other in the three years since Hurricane Katrina.

Storm damage: The city’s Community Development Department has completed its initial assessment of storm damage, but is asking residents with storm damage to contact the Community Development office to ensure no damage is overlooked. Call 435-6280 or email

Check license before hiring contractors

The City of Biloxi is home to many reputable, licensed building contractors who are qualified to make repairs for you. However, after each storm, a number of transient contractors sets up temporary shop in the community.

Before signing any contract or paying any money for repair work, you should ask to see the person’s City of Biloxi license. Also, obtain proper permits, to be sure that the work is done to code. Work not done with proper permits or inspections also may not be eligible for any reimbursement from your insurance company.

If you have any questions about a contractor or permits, contact the Building Division at 435-6270 or online at

To check online city and state contractor databases, click here.


Curfew fini: The curfew that had been in effect during Gustav ended this morning; however, U.S. 90 remains closed while MDOT crews remove debris from the roadway.

Beaches: The sand beach remains closed.

Bridges: All bridges in Biloxi are open to traffic; motorists using the Biloxi Bay Bridge between Biloxi and Ocean Springs will be detoured off Beach Boulevard to Howard Avenue.

Breakfast with Mayor: The Biloxi Chamber’s Breakfast with the Mayor scheduled for Wednesday at the Gulf Coast Business Technology Center has been canceled.