by Calvin Ishee

A group of local residents represented my Dave Dennis and Glenn Mueller opened the door for the installation of sidewalks on Scenic Drive from Menge Avenue to the East end of Scenic Drive. Dennis promoted the need for sidewalks due to safety reasons for both walkers and cyclists, improving the value of this area, helps property values, improves quality of life and curb appeal for the Coast. Dennis also emphasized the wellness benefits of having sidewalks that folks can safely use.

Glenn Mueller added that he realizes Pass Christian, especially Scenic Drive is a “very special place”.  He further added that the eastern portion of Scenic Drive isn’t “consistent with the rest of Scenic Drive as there are no sidewalks or lights“ like there are on the west side of Scenic Drive.  Adding sidewalks and lights “would make Scenic look more Scenic, that’s our goal”.

According to Dennis the local group is willing to provide some funding to offset the estimated sidewalk costs of $80 – $85 thousand dollars. Pass Christian Mayor Chipper McDermott lauded them for their efforts and said he would support it if the group would chip in with funding the sidewalk. He compared it to the recent partnership between the City and the Trinity Dog Park Group whereby the City contributed $25,000 and the group raised another $40,000 plus to create The Trinity Dog Park of Pass Christian. The group stated they would work with the City in an effort to make this project happen.

In a recent conversation with Ward 3 Alderman Anthony Hall, Hall stated that one of his biggest priorities for 2021 was the installation of a sidewalk on North Street. Hall noted that in addition to getting countless requests from residents requesting sidewalks on North Street, he’s deeply concerned for the safely of those walking on one of Pass Christian’s busiest streets. Hall realizes that this effort is going to be expensive and supports it being completed in phases.

In the personnel arena Scott Naugle and Jenny Nicaud were reappointed to the Historical Preservation Commission with a term ending December 31, 2023; reappointed Lou Rizzardi, Melinda Taylor and Terry Gibson to the Tree Board with a term ending November 6, 2023 and an employee was terminated from the Beautification Department “for cause”.

The Board approved spending taxpayer money on a water fountain for the Trinity Dog Park at a cost of $8,235; made a $200 to the United Way of South Mississippi; $5,390.96 to repair a tractor in the Public Works Department and $99,299.12 in Claims Docket expenses.

As promised at the last Board meeting, co-owner of Shaggy’s, Rimmer Covington provided an update that included a proposed lease agreement. According to City Attorney Malcolm Jones, there’s still a long way to go before the Shaggy’s expansion project can move forward. Jones added that the proposed lease would be for twenty five years and was similar to the existing lease with Shaggy’s. Mayor McDermott stated that he supports this economic expansion project but want citizens to know that several parking places will be lost for public use.  Covington stated that their target date to begin this project is March 2021, however, there’s still a lot to be done via the approval process.

After a lengthy discussion the Board voted 4-1 to accept ownership of several abandoned boats that remain either on ground or submerged in The Pass Harbor. Alderman Hall reiterated his concern regarding the fact that by accepting ownership of these vessels, Pass Christian taxpayers become responsible for removal of these boats. Hall added that he was hoping to get “something back” financially for the City but unfortunately that’s not the case. Mayor McDermott stated that it was time for the City to do whatever it takes to remove these “eye sores”.  In an effort to save money, the City will use in-house resources saving the taxpayers thousands of dollars.

In keeping with long standing precedence, the Board denied several requests for Hurricane Zeta related water bill adjustment requests.

According to Pass Christian Water Supervisor Jennifer Lizana, at least six residents asked for water bill adjustments for pressure washing their homes and eight residents asked for adjustments for refilling their swimming pools.

Although the City allows residents to claim one swimming pool adjustment refill per year, those requesting the current adjustment had already refilled their pools during 2020.

The next Board meeting will take place on January 5th 2021.