by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher
With the city of Long Beach suspending the rules and adding two agenda items to the Tuesday, January 4th board of aldermen meeting, the “Friendly City” unanimously approved tabling the advancement of annexation and moving forward with the Beatline Parkway Project.
Although two separate projects; which both were planned on moving forward following the December 21, 2021 meeting, the board chose to stop any work for these projects right now. Ward 5 Alderman Mike Brown and Alderman-at-Large Donald Frazer expressed the needs for city funds should be directed toward the harbor.
The Long Beach Harbor still has not received funding or permanent corrections since being destroyed after Hurricane Zeta in October 2020.
“There are no error in the minutes, these minutes reflect the action of the board,” stated Long Beach City Attorney Steve Simpson during the board meeting when discussion brought forth the accuracy of the annexation advancement. “If the board has the desire to reconsider what was approved at the previous meeting, that is the opportunity to do so. The ordinance was adopted and approved, but the petition was not yet filed to advance the annexation in court.”
Long Beach’s annexation attempt has been a study since 2011 where the board finally approved moving forward in the last meeting of 2021. Mayor George Bass said after the meeting there was not timeline to advance annexation until other city projects were completed.
As far as the Beatline Parkway Project goes, the city has worked toward advancing this plan forward for the last three years. Even though the city did recently receive $16.8 million in grant funds to begin the Phase 1 environmental study, this was below the $25 million needed to progress.
Additionally, no word from Harrison County or the city of Pass Christian about their intent to assist with the creation of a multi-lane evacuation route to Interstate 10 on Beatline Road. The Long Beach Board of Aldermen approved the project in February in 2018 and accepted a new ordinance July 2020 to ratify the agreement with the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
At the January 4th meeting, Frazer made the motion to table the Memorandum of Understanding by the city of Long Beach beginning the Phase 1 environmental study by Pickering Firm, Inc. of the Beatline Parkway Project.
According to Bass, the city of Long Beach should focus on rebuilding the harbor and other projects. The city of Long Beach will hold a work session next Tuesday, January 11th to discuss the harbor and additional business.
Neither tabled projects are eliminated, but no advancement at this time.