Moss Point makes plans to build new city hall

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) -  Human Resource Director Nicole Jacobs says it's been a real hassle conducting business or even keeping her papers orderly because her office is so small.

"It is extremely cramped," Jacobs said about her office. "We have very little storage space. It doesn't feel quite as safe if we have thunderstorms and wind storms."

"It's an enormous inconvenience being in the trailers," Moss Point Mayor Xavier Bishop said.

Since flood waters ruined city hall three and half years ago, Mayor Bishop says his 35 member staff has been forced into an uncomfortable spot.

"I think there is a certain claustrophobicness that we have all acquired in the time that we have been here. I applaud the employees for their willingness to put up with the inconvenience," Bishop said.

In September, construction is set to begin on a new $3 million city hall. The new facility will be located miles away from the Escatawpa River to hopefully avoid flooding problems.

"We will build at a higher elevation. It will not only be a more user and customer friendly place to work, it will also be one that will be fortified from any future damage," Bishop said about the future city hall.

The project was supposed to start next year, but Bishop says plans were pushed up because the governor wants Katrina federal dollars used before the end of this year.

"We have received approximately $3.5 million through the Katrina Supplemental Community Development Block Grants. The governor gave us a mandate to begin the all work on these projects by September 2009," Bishop said.

Bishop says the build will take about 12 months, but Nicole Jacobs is already anticipating move-in day.

"It is a lot more comfortable and just a more professional environment."

Bishop says city leaders are discussing whether some money should be spent on remodeling the Bellview Shopping Center so employees can move into that facility, or if they should stay in trailers until city hall is finished.

He hopes a decision will be made by the end of the week.

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