by Calvin Ishee, Associate Publisher

In an effort to improve the overall appearance of private properties within the City of Pass Christian, owners of blighted and unkempt properties beware. The City has undertaken a concerted and aggressive effort to rid the City of “blighted properties”.

With the assistance of Code Enforcement Director Tom Duffy, Ward 3 Alderman Kirk Kimball is on a mission to force homeowners into taking proper care of their properties. In fact, Alderman Kimball uses Board meetings to call out the addresses of those properties not in compliance with applicable City codes and ordinances. He even commented, “If you have a blighted property, you are our next contestant.”

Mayor Jimmy Rafferty commented that the City was going to be legally aggressive with ensuring properties are properly cared for, even if it means taking residents to Municipal Court.

This has been an ongoing issue for years, however this is the first time that it’s been an enforcement priority. So property owners be forewarned that if you don’t take care of your property, the City could be paying you a visit.

On a related matter, the City of Pass Christian is about to undertake another matter; littering.

Ward 2 Regina Charlot recently asked the City to get more aggressive with resolving the ever growing litter problem throughout the City. In addition to enforcing fines for littering, Pass Christian is going to implement a City wide anti-littering program.

If you’re caught littering, the first offense will cost you $100 and up to $500 or 30 days in jail for subsequent offenses.

The Board approved  community support requests from Girl Scout Troop 3604 of Long Beach-Pass Christian Service Unit for the waiver of fees and use of War Memorial Park and Gazebo on December 12, 2021 for their “Caroling for Charity” service project; waiver of fees and use of the Randolph Center by the Golden Gulf Group for a Thanksgiving meal giveaway and a long list of City resources for the 2022 Art in The Pass Fine Arts Festival to be held April 1-3 2022 in War Memorial Park, as requested by Ward 1 Alderwoman Betty Sparkman.

A big lesson was learned by those with clogged up sewers, before calling a commercial plumber it would be wise to give WPSCO a call. Why?  If you don’t call WPSCO first, you’ll be forced to pay out of pocket for any expenses incurred to clear the sewer line.

Several residents living on Sweetbay Drive were denied reimbursement requests of $354.70 and $273.11 for costs to clear their sewage service lines.

WPSCO has someone on call 24/7 and encourages citizens to call them before calling a commercial plumbing service.

The City approved their 2021 Holiday schedule as proclaimed by Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves whereby non-essential City services will be closed on Thursday, November 25; Friday, November 26; Thursday, December 23; Friday, December 24 and Friday, December 31.

In the personnel arena, the Beautification Department hired Daniel Sahuque as a General Services Laborer; Public Works filled two new positions by hiring Deric Gillum as an Operator II and John Critchfield as an Operator I and the Police Department hired Joshua Dobbs to fill a vacant patrol officer position.

The only resignation came from full time fire fighter Christopher Boswell.

The Police Department announced the retirement of long serving Investigator Sergeant Barry Smith. Police Chief Daren Freeman outlined Investigator Smith’s long and distinguished law enforcement career. He proclaimed Smith’s retirement a “bitter sweet moment.”

Alderwoman Charlot added, “You will be greatly missed. You are an asset to our community “.

The use of expenditures was approved for Hurricane Zeta repairs to the southwest harbor parking lot in the amount of $48,617; $2,547.44 to purchase a playground slide in War Memorial Park; $9,370 for a new Rescue Rope and $81k in Claims Docket Expenses.