by Hunter Dawkins

The “Friendly City” of Long Beach was a recipient of $4 million of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds announced by Mayor George Bass at Tuesday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting.  Bass delivered gratitude towards Mississippi House Representative and former Long Beach Alderman Richard Bennett for securing this revenue through the appropriations delivered to the state.  

$2 million will be devoted to the downtown revitalization of Long Beach and an additional $2 million to the Quarles House renovation.

After considering a recommendation from the Selection Committee for Engineering Services on the Trautman Drainage Basin Wastewater System Upgrades project, the Long Beach Board of Aldermen (BOA) unanimously awarded the contract to Overstreet & Associates, PLLC.  The committee assigned a point system to make its recommendation and the Overstreet firm gained the highest point total from their breakdown.

“Every time this pipe breaks because their is so much sewage, the utility authority only deals in fairly large stuff,” said Long Beach City Engineer David Ball.  “Because this pipe is carrying a massive amount of city sewage, it generally costs in between $100-200 thousand dollars.”  Ball expressed how good this project would be for the city to save money.

In handling new business, the Long Beach BOA unanimously adopted an ordinance granting a franchise agreement with Mississippi Power setting a special election August 4, which would ask the general public to allow the city to use the branch from Southern Company for all utility services.

Following deliberation about the Price Brothers Replacement Project, the board tabled this matter.  Ball stated there was a $3.5 million shortfall in funds, that this project was done in the late 1980’s, and there was no real quality of product.

In other actions, Long Beach BOA had two public hearing on derelict property where the first was granted a 30-day extension to allow the individual to work with a Building Code official and the second was adjudicated, which declared the property a menace to the public health and a requirement of the owner to clean it under legal statute.

Finally, the board adopted the Long Beach School District Budget for the new fiscal year.  In an upcoming workshop, the city will evaluate school funds to set the mill levy, which decides whether or not property taxes will increase.

In a city release Wednesday, Jeepin’ the Coast has been canceled due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) concerns and an increase in Harrison County numbers.  Individuals who were partaking in the event, are being offered a full refund.  Go to jeepinthecoast.com to find out more information.

The next meeting is scheduled for July 21 at 5pm in the Long Beach City Hall.