Holloway on baseball, FEMA work, and saving trees

Here is the prepared text of Mayor A.J. Holloway’s remarks made during Breakfast with the Mayor, a Biloxi Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event held Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at Bonefish Grill at Edgewater Mall.

Thank all of you for being here. We have a lot of things to talk about.

First, let me say thank you to everyone who voted on May 7. I especially want to thank everyone who voted for A.J. Holloway on May 7. That’s no bull.

We have runoffs next week in Wards 3, 4 and 6. I encourage you to go out and vote. Then on June 4, we will have the general election.

Yesterday, the City Council took one of many steps in the process that could see a baseball stadium built in Biloxi. There are still questions to be answered and details to be worked out — and made public — before we go further.

Another thing that happened yesterday was a discussion of a streets and drainage project that would be in addition to the FEMA work that we already have underway. The city has plans to spend up to 14 million dollars for this project.

Last week, we began work on a 9 million dollar project that will see work in and around Kensington all the way over to Benachi. All this will be paid for by FEMA.

This project is significant for a number of reasons. First, it’s the largest chunk of work to date. We’re talking 9 million dollars in a project that will take over 545 days. It impacts 16 streets and 600 homeowners.

Second, we’re another step closer to Point Cadet and east Biloxi, where we’ll be spending hundreds of millions to re-do water, sewer and drainage in east Biloxi.

And finally, let me speak to another issue that comes up. That’s the impact on neighborhoods.
We’ve worked for months designing these projects. We do everything we can to minimize the impact on trees, especially oak trees.

We have saved many trees by moving water or sewer lines or storm drains. We have some latitude, but work of this magnitude means some trees will be impacted.

We appreciate the charm and appeal of Kensington and the Back Bay neighborhoods, with their stately oaks and beautiful canopies. We are going to do everything we can to preserve that look — on Back Bay and throughout our city.

Now, school is winding down. Kids are taking plenty of tests this week, and summertime is just around the corner.

p>One of the most popular events we have is the City of Biloxi summer camp. I want to call forward Sherry Bell to talk about that.

And then we have Bill Raymond who will talk about Preservation Month and Thursdays in May.

After those two have finished their presentations, we’re going to take your questions.

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