BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A huge hole in the middle of a Biloxi neighborhood has some neighbors worried. The hole was dug by contractors for the Harrison County Utility Authority.
William and Shirley Windham have lived in this Biloxi neighborhood for 44 years. The retired high school coaches are concerned because a $2.5 million lift station project that began in 2011 has stalled for about a year.
If you look closely, you'll see a pit that has filled with water. Smelly, dirty water.
"The children in the neighborhood are in danger because they have left a wide-open hole. It's full of water and the children are going over the fence to get balls and their lives are in danger," Shirley Windham said.
The pit is surrounded by metal sheets driven into the ground. William Windham says if a youngster gets inside the fence and falls into the pit, he would drown.
"It's no way they can get out because there's iron, it's all around," William Windham stated. "It's probably at least 20 feet deep down into the ground. So there's no way they can get out of here."
The incomplete lift station is on a lot between two homes on Southern Avenue, just north of casino and condo developments. It's near a lot of vacant land where the old Broadwater once stood, a site where promised projects have never materialized
"We questioned them about the project being so close to the house, but now our concern is the children," Shirley Windham said.
I called the acting director of the Utility Authority, Bart Clover, who told me the board's attorney Jim Simpson instructed him not to speak to me on camera. Clover did tell me that Yates Construction hired subcontractor SH Anthony, and that the project stalled due to a number of delays and change orders.
After I began asking questions about the project, SH Anthony began pumping out the water from the 25 foot hole.
SH Anthony Vice President of Construction Philip DeFrances confirmed there have been delays, but construction should resume by May 10. That's the news the Windhams wanted to hear.
"I would like for this project to either be finished are get rid of it. It has messed up the entire neighborhood," Shirley Windham said.
The lift station is now expected be finished in August.