Council Updates - July 2020
Tuesday’s council meeting was very dynamic. We opened with the BSL Depot Committee report. Councilman Jeffrey Reed, opened with naming the committee members: myself, Councilman Gene Hoffman, John Anderson, Ed Wikoff, Larry Jaubert, Lonnie Falgout, Regan Kane, Myron Labat, Jim McPhaille, Gary Ponthieux, Sr., David Reso, and Terry Stolz.
Without a doubt this was a group of extremely talented professionals, all of which live and work in the Bay St. Louis area. This committee met a total of three times where we shared all the ideas that have been suggested for years. I took these suggestion/ideas and created renderings of what the Depot could be and delivered a detailed presentation of the BSL Depot.
- a state-of-the-art performance stage with lights, and a retractable screen so movies can be seen.
- expanded green spaces
- a new kids playground
- enhanced lighting
- moving of the Alice Moseley Pavilion
- adding a second pavilion near the BSL Community Center
- the closing of Kellar street to add more green space
- improvements to the depot such as roof repairs and painting of the outside
- re-surfacing Depot Way
- building a handicapped approved comfort station next to the depot
- duck pond improvements such as lighting
- additional park benches/tables (12)
- removal of the palm trees replacing them with live oak trees and moving the palms to the beach areas around the marina, or Washington street beach area.
This covers most of the major improvements to help revitalize the Depot Grounds.
Next MS Power gave a short presentation concerning the installation of surveillance cameras at our area parks. Over the last several years, we have seen a rise in vandalism of our area parts. We will be testing a few models in the coming weeks.
Planning & Zoning
- Shieldsboro Subdivision development was withdrawn after the P & Z denied approval of the current plan by a vote of 3-2. I was told that the developers will be coming back to the August P & Z meeting with a new plan. This meeting is scheduled for August 25th.
- Bill Adams asked that his application, though approved by P&Z by a 3-1 voted be tabled for the next council meeting.
- There were 5 other applications that passed P & Z and were approved by the Council.
What I want to point out about the consent agenda is the cash balances. All total, the city has over 5 million dollars on hand and the General Fund as of 7/31/20 has just shy of 1.9 million dollars. Going into our lean months of October, November, and December, our cash position is strong.
So, despite all the issues concerning the Covid crisis, our financial position remains strong. Remember, we made major cuts to our budget to pull us through. The docket of claims paid out $513, 834, of which 300k was a payment to the builder constructing Pier 5. The City will be reimbursed within 30 days.
The Mayor asked the council to approve an agreement with the city engineer to update the cities current subdivision regulations.
We approved the award agreement with the Southern Rail commission for the Gulf Coast High Speed Rail Corridor Station improvement planning & capital project. In other words, we need to make improvements to the depot to accept passengers. Rail service is tentatively slated to begin in March of 2022.
During the engineers report we did talk about the about the upcoming bond. The council has to approve the needs list and will be scheduling a workshop at the next meeting finalize the list.
The 20/21 budget is almost final. Basically, we are using the same budget as last year. We have one more meeting and I will post in greater detail.
Thank you for reading. For more information, you can find videos of each meeting on the city web site.
Your Councilman at Large