Biloxi battles blight at today's council meeting

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Demolition talk will dominate today's Biloxi City Council meeting.  On the agenda are 15 demolition resolutions.  The old White House Hotel is one of the properties whose future should be determined.

For weeks, Biloxi has asked those property owners to restore what Katrina destroyed, or at least clean up the eyesores.  If not, the city has said by law, it can demolish those properties, then pass the cost on to the property owners.

The White House hotel sits on Highway 90.  It's been vacant for decades.  Yet, it's considered an historic property.  That's been one of the stumbling blocks in recent discussions about whether to salvage or demolish the White House.

Down the street is the empty Santa Maria tower.  Biloxi leaders know nothing can be done to the Santa Maria until the Catholic Diocese completes a housing project in north Biloxi.  And those 209 units won't open for another three months.

The Diocese is currently hiring a management staff for the new Santa Maria.  Once that team is in place, resident applications will be accepted.

We're told by a Diocese spokesman the new Santa Maria housing complex is a $25 million post-Katrina investment.

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