Q&A on city services in Woolmarket

Biloxi has invested millions each year providing municipal-level services to the residents of Woolmarket and others who became part of the city in 1999.

Some examples, based on reports from individual departments:

—Biloxi Police Department:
Averages 160 calls a day for service in the Woolmarket community, with a response time of under five minutes in 92 percent of the cases. The Police Department has six patrol officers assigned to Woolmarket, totaling more than $350,000 paid in annual salaries.

—Biloxi Fire Department:
Averages 77 emergency calls a month in Woolmarket, with an average response time of about 4 minutes and 44 seconds. The department operates three stations that serve Woolmarket — including a two-year-old, million-dollar station on Oaklawn Road. A total of 50 firefighters are assigned to Woolmarket, working in three 24-hour shifts, with a total annual salary of $3.04 million.

—Public Works Department:
Since 2000, has cleaned more than 508 miles of ditches in Woolmarket, and repaired nearly 40,000 potholes. The department has invested $7.4 million in major improvement projects, personnel and equipment. Among the major projects: $1.7 million for an elevated water tank; $1.1 million for repairs to the Cedar Lake Bridge; $585,500 on installing a Woolmarket water well, $407,000 in upgrades to the Woolmarket treatment plant; and $351,000 in Oaklawn Road improvements. The Public Works Department has 21 workers assigned north of the Bay, accounting for $947,000 in total salaries.

—Parks and Recreation Department:
Has invested more than $1.4 million on programs, personnel and park improvements since Woolmarket became part of the city. Each year, more than 300 or so Woolmarket youth take part in a year-round menu of city sports leagues in Woolmarket, with no city registration fees required. Each year the city has also operated two Woolmarket sites for its eight-week summer camp program, offering an array of activities for campers. In 2007, the program grew to three Woolmarket sites.

—Community Development Department: Issues an average of 885 construction permits of one type or another each year in the Woolmarket area. The department currently has either approved or is reviewing plans for 14 subdivision in the community, mostly one or two lot subdivisions, except for the 544-lot Belle La Vie proposal. The department investigates 20 to 25 code enforcement cases in Woolmarket in an average month.

Frequently asked questions

What about the city’s promise to provide water and sewer service to Woolmarket?

The city has invested millions on water and sewer service, and is currently going through the state permitting process to resume work interrupted by Hurricane Katrina. As part of the plan, the city will install water and sewer lines a mile north of Interstate 10, along Highway 67. Budget for the work: $2.2 million.

Municipal water systems are supposed to be operated as a business, and, as such, services are expanded where “economically feasible.” As a result, installation of city water and sewer began south of Interstate 10, where the majority of residents in the newly incorporated area resided, and is now moving north of I-10.

How much money in property taxes do residents of Woolmarket pay to the city each year?

Woolmarket residents pay about $900,000 a year in property taxes. If you look at services, employee salaries and equipment, the city spends about five times that amount in Woolmarket each year.