by Calvin Ishee, Associate Publisher
In the March 10, 2021 edition of The Gazebo Gazette, it was reported that Pass Christian Alderman at Large Kenny Torgeson and Ward 3 Alderwoman Regina Charlot brought up the need to repave Lynn Circle.
A citizen named Ms. Saucier made a plea to the Board to fix Lynn Circle due to problems with the bad condition of the road as well as the flooding caused by such.
Saucier noted that money had been available before because paving had already been done in other areas.
She added, “I know this is a hazard in front of my home and I pay taxes and we’ve been dealing with this for a while.”
Former Public Works Director Russell Holloman addressed both the need to address the problem as well as a potential solution, which included simply repairing the area of concern.
The repair would allow the water to properly drain instead of flooding and standing in the area.
As stated in the official minutes from the March 2, 2021 Board of Alderman meeting, “Upon motion of Alderman Hall, seconded by Alderman Torgeson, the Board approved unanimously, to paving all of Lynn Circle to be paid out of Internet Tax fund and if costs exceeds $50,000 request with come back to Board.”
During a robust discussion of the matter, former Pass Christian Mayor Chipper McDermott told the Board that due to the cost of paving; in order to get more done at a better price, the City normally schedules all paving projects to be done at the same time.
He stated, “We don’t normally pave in the middle of a fiscal year because when one wants one (a paving project), others will want one as well. The whole trick to this is to use someone else’s money.”
Mayor McDermott added that the Internet Tax fund had only brought in about $143,000 and that’s what the City would have to fund paving projects throughout the entire City for the rest of the year.
Alderwoman Charlot commented that this was in her ward and that even before being elected, this problem had already been going on for a very long time. She added that one of the solutions previously discussed was the addition of a new drain at an estimated cost of between $100,000 to $300,000.
Charlot then asked the Board to consider repaving all of Lynn Circle. Alderman Torgeson stated that he was all for repaving Lynn Circle and wasn’t in favor of a temporary fix, whereby the Board would have to deal with it again at a later date.
Since that time the project has grown exponentially in price and has endured delay after delay.
Ms. Saucier has attended a number of Board meetings and has expressed her mounting frustration accordingly.
At the January 4, 2022 Board meeting the agenda included an item to address not only Lynn Circle but other potential paving projects as well.
With respect to Lynn Circle, the agenda read, “According to the City Engineer, if the Board chooses to pave all of Lynn Circle, it will be necessary to adjust the other driveways in the subdivision and approve a Change Order with DNA Underground for an additional $83,000 (approx.) before the paving in the additional sum of $130,000 can be done. The Board will need to discuss these costs and determine how these additional costs will be included in the overall paving project.”
So there you have it, what was originally thought to be a simple repaving project at an estimated cost of $40,000 has grown to a more complicated project estimated to be well over $200,000.
The Board decided that they needed to conduct a workshop to discuss the best way to move forward with this project.
For those interested in hearing how the City is going to address some of these issues, specifically Lynn Circle, the workshop has been scheduled for Monday, January 10, 2022, 6 pm at the City Courtroom/Auditorium.
As with all meetings where official business is being conducted, this meeting is open to the public.
At some point the City is also going to have to deal with ongoing infrastructure problems throughout the City, the need to repair or replace bridges as well as new costly projects currently under consideration by Mayor Jimmy Rafferty: $1.8M enclosure for the firing range, walkway across highway 90, boardwalk on the beach, etc.