Property Owners Want Fair Deal

It's been a process that has the city taking some Caillavet property owners to court. The major sticking point is money.  The city has appraised each piece of property on the street and come up with a value to offer the owner, but that value has varied dramatically at times and has property owners calling the process unfair and city officials explaining it.

David Nichols is the Chief Administrative Officer for the city of Biloxi and says, "What the likelihood of a casino is to purchase that property, and as you see on our appraisers, those right across from the casinos are very high land values and as they go down Caillavet Street they decrease in value."

But, how far down Caillavet must you go for all of this to make sense?  Well, Daniel Schroeder is an appraiser in Biloxi working with some of the property owners.  His answer.  Not too far.

"The city of Biloxi bought one piece of property for $23 a square foot.  Just on the other side of the fence, the city of Biloxi has appraised this property for $9.50 a square foot.  Forty-five feet away from me the city's offering the Desporte family $7 a square foot."

That baffles Junie Desporte who has been on Caillavet Street for years and now has to relocate.

"These people are hard working people on Caillavet Street not just my family but other families on Caillavet Street are trying to make a fair deal and get out of the city's way, but the way things are going they making us go to court."

The first case will go before a jury later this month and that case is Paul Broussard who has owned property on Caillavet for more than 40 years.

"I think the people of Biloxi are going to look at this and say look I don't know what the city is trying to do to these small businessmen, but it doesn't make sense."

Broussard relocated in D'Iberville, but now he like Desporte is paying for two pieces of property and Broussard says Biloxi has fallen way short of what his Caillavet land is worth.

"When I am finished paying for this property, I'll have over $800,000 in it.  They're offering me $452,000 which is ridiculous.

David Nichols says, "Say the courts award above what our appraiser is appraised at that will give us some flexibility to negotiate with the property owners but until that happens, we don't have any flexibility."

Junie Desporte says, "We want the fair deal, I don't want nobody to go through what we're going through right now for three years."