Debris and other damages from Hurricane Zeta to the two harbors for Pass Christian on November 3, 2020. (Hunter Dawkins/The Gazebo Gazette via AP)

by Calvin Ishee

Less than a month after Hurricane Zeta pummeled the Mississippi Gulf Coast on Wednesday, October 28th, the Pass Christian Board of Alderman accepted debris removal bids.

At Tuesday’s Board meeting the first thirty minutes involved the formal acceptance of debris removal and debris removal contract bids.

Fourteen companies submitted bids for the debris removal contract and seven companies submitted bids for the debris removal monitoring contracts.  Bids were received from companies located in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Texas.

On Wednesday, November 18th, 2020, a committee appointed by Pass Christian Mayor Chipper McDermott met to review all of the bid proposals and determine the best bid based on cost and timeline for completing the debris removal process.

The Bid Review Committee consisted of City Clerk Marian Governor, City Attorney Malcom Jones, City Engineer Bib Escher and City employee Diamond Woodman.

According to Mayor McDermott, the contracts will be awarded at a Special Meeting on Thursday, November 19th, 2020, 6 pm at the City Courtroom.

The Mayor also noted that the debris removal contractor will make a least three passes around the City in an effort to remove as much of the debris as possible.

He also told the Board that the cost of this removal could be between $600,000 to $1,000,000.

In other business, the Board approved The Whiskey Bar’s request to close a portion of Davis Ave on Saturday, December 5th, 2020, from 6 pm to 11 pm, for a special Christmas in The Pass concert. The Whiskey Bar is expected to make a big announcement regarding the stars expected to perform at this extremely popular Christmas event.

After a process fraught with twists, turns, challenges and errors, the Board unanimously approved the appointment of Pass Christian resident Halle Ricketts to the Pass Christian School Board.

Apparently City Attorney Malcom Jones first legal opinion that stated the three School Board members allocated to the City didn’t have to live within the City limits was incorrect.

After a lengthy Executive Session, Jones reported that newly discovered Mississippi case law does in fact require School Board members live within the City limits.

The meeting culminated with another lengthy Executive Session involving a personal issue in the City’s Court Department. Malcolm Jones announced that it was the consensus of the Board that the employee serve a three day suspension, effective immediately.

Although specific information was not provided by Jones, the employee was told that this was their “last chance” to resolve their “issues” as outlined in Executive Session.