Tree deadline nears; Postal Service dedication; other news and notes

The City of Biloxi has set May 31 as the deadline for property owners to file right-of-entry forms in order to have standing dead trees considered for removal from their property.

For several months, the city has asked property owners to file tree ROEs to allow the city to remove standing dead trees that pose a threat to improved property, utilities or roadways. FEMA reimburses the city for 90 percent of the cost, while MEMA chips in nine percent.

“We’d like to remove as many eligible trees as possible,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said, “but to do that, we need property owners to fill out these ROE forms and get them to us. That’s the first step in the process.”

The forms, which must be completed and notarized, can be obtained online or at the city’s Community Development, 676 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd; or Neel-Schaffer, 772 Howard Avenue. The forms can be notarized for free at either location.

To download a tree-removal ROE, click here.

Postal Service dedicates downtown office

Regional and local Postal Service administrators joined local leaders in formally dedicating the downtown Biloxi Post Office this morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and brief reception. The three-story Main Street office sustained more than three feet of water in Hurricane Katrina. Postal Service employees worked out of a portable postal facility until November, when they returned to the main building, where restoration continued.

The second and third floors of the Main Street building are now available for lease.

To see photos of the event this morning, click here.

News and notes

Artist at work: Chainsaw artist Dayton Scoggins this morning began work on sculpting seven standing dead trees in the median of U.S. 90 in Biloxi. The work is expected to continue through Thursday afternoon. For background on the project, click here.

Gaming revenue: January’s gross gaming revenue — $85.9 million – represented the second-best month for Biloxi’s casino’s since Hurricane Katrina struck 18 months ago. To see the city’s monthly gross gaming revenue figures – based on calendar-month totals — click here.

Lifeguard classes: The Biloxi Natatorium this afternoon begins two session of pre-testing for those interested in becoming certified lifeguards. For details on the sessions and how you can sign up, click here.

Oaklawn re-opened: While most of the excitement was focused on President Bush’s visit to City Hall Thursday, Public Works employees were installing a new drainage line on Oaklawn Road. Work to replace the line on Oaklawn, which is the main access road for the Eagle Point community, was completed on schedule Thursday afternoon, even though workers had to re-locate a water line and excavate eight feet below ground, around a gas line.

Council agenda: To see the agenda for Tuesday afternoon’s City Council meeting, click here.