Residents Say No To Project

It's a proposed project that would utilize 751 acres of land in North Gulfport to build on; including, 524 acres of wetlands in the Turkey Creek Basin. The same wetlands that currently provide a runoff point for a neighborhood that has serious flooding problems, and the Army Corps of Engineers called this meeting to hear about them.

Jimmie Jenkins is the president of the Gulfport City Council and he says, "We welcome any development in our city, but we want to make sure that the proper studies are made and whatever the Corps will require the developer to do to make sure that that developer does not impact an area that's already impacted by any additional water."

Meanwhile another resident, "If they're going to put this shopping outlet there, this community needs to be sure that when we go to bed at night and it rains real hard that we're not going to wake up with water all in our front doors and washing our homes away."

Residents are calling for an Environmental Impact Study to make sure they're safe from even more flooding problems if the project is allowed to be built. Meanwhile, the developer T.J. Ward from Louisiana told tonight's crowd of the economic benefits of such a development. It would bring retail stores, office buildings, restaurants, and even hotels to the area and create about 7200 new jobs and 64 million dollars in salaries. But, if it floods these folks out they don't want it.

One resident says, "The cost hasn't been counted when it pertains to the environmental impact of the citizens of this community."

Gulfport Ward Three Councilwoman Ella Holmes-Hines told the engineers she needs their attention. "I greatly need the help and the support of this US Corps of Engineers and until that economic impact can variate from what the environmental impact is my answer is No sir."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will issue a decision by February on whether to conduct an environmental impact study which could take up to two years, or just an assessment that would only take months.