Diamondhead threatened to terminate city hall lease or be sued - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Diamondhead threatened to terminate city hall lease or be sued

Posted: Updated:
DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) -

The city of Diamondhead is facing an ultimatum. The Diamondhead Taxpayers Association put the city on notice to either forfeit its lease on city hall, or the association will file a lawsuit.

Diamondhead is about a year into a three year lease of the old Baptist church it's using as city hall. But the Diamondhead Taxpayers Association wants that time cut short. The association said the lease is illegal, alleging Diamondhead bypassed the proper bidding process. The group's attorney said his clients are upset because they believe Diamondhead leaders should have shopped around for a better deal.

"Many people think the church was a bad idea," said Attorney William Kulick. "It's a nice building and all, but there are other places in the city of Diamondhead that could have been used. That could have been used less expensively. Purchased or leased less expensively."

Kulick sent the city a letter asking that the lease on the Baptist church be immediately terminated, and all of the money paid as part of that lease be returned to the city. Kulick goes on to say his clients have directed him to file a lawsuit if that money is not returned.

"Basically, my clients are interested in seeing the newly elected city council provides good government. That they do things right. There's no reason not to do it right," Kulick said. "They might end up with the church anyway as the highest and best use, and lowest and best bid. But until they do the proper bidding procedure, my clients are just watch dogging the city to make sure that they do the right thing."

WLOX spoke to Pete Kolf, the chairperson of the Diamondhead Taxpayers Association, and asked him who the group thinks should repay the money to the city. He said either the city's insurance company or the city council members -- past or present-- who voted for the lease.

Diamondhead City Attorney Sean Tindell said a recent court ruling found Diamondhead improperly entered the agreement to buy the Baptist church, which was an option under the lease purchase agreement. However, Tindell said the judge found no problem with the earlier deal to lease the building.

"Right now, Diamondhead is operating under a lease deemed valid by the court," Tindell said.

The city attorney said the city could still try to come up with a new agreement to buy the church or decide to find another property for city hall.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Pearl High School student takes dream date to prom

    Pearl High School student takes dream date to prom

    Saturday, April 19 2014 12:26 AM EDT2014-04-19 04:26:01 GMT
    18-year-old Jacob Daniels can barely wipe the smile off his face, in anticipation of his Senior Prom Friday night. His mother Lori helps him try on his tuxedo as he talks about the dream girl he'll beMore >>
    Eighteen-year-old Jacob Daniels can barely wipe the smile off his face, in anticipation of his Senior Prom Friday night. His mother Lori helps him try on his tuxedo as he talks about the dream girl he'll be arm in arm with.
    More >>
  • Biloxi bakery celebrates 90 sweet years in business

    Biloxi bakery celebrates 90 sweet years in business

    Saturday, April 19 2014 6:54 AM EDT2014-04-19 10:54:05 GMT
    A Biloxi bakery has many people thinking of delicious pastries for Easter time. And they've been doing it for nine decades! The Electrik Maid Bake Shop is celebrating 90 years in the baking business.More >>
    A Biloxi bakery has many people thinking of delicious pastries for Easter time. And they've been doing it for nine decades! The Electrik Maid Bake Shop is celebrating 90 years in the baking business.More >>
  • Water advisories issued for 6 areas of the beach

    Water advisories issued for 6 areas of the beach

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:55 AM EDT2014-04-19 11:55:08 GMT
    Advisories have been issued for several sections of the beach in Harrison and Hancock counties. The beaches aren't closed, but there may be an increased risk of illness associated with swimming in these areas.More >>
    Advisories have been issued for several sections of the beach in Harrison and Hancock counties. The beaches aren't closed, but there may be an increased risk of illness associated with swimming in these six areas.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.