Should Hancock Chamber lease city building for a dollar? - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Should Hancock Chamber lease city building for a dollar?

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) -

The Hancock County Chamber of Commerce is leasing a city owned building, but some Bay St. Louis city council members say the deal is a little too sweet.

In fact, some say it's time to renegotiate.

The old City Hall Annex, which is home to the Chamber of Commerce, is a 5,000 square foot building on Court Street. Now, some city council members say the dollar a year lease is more of a steal than a bargain.

"I voted years ago, when we gave it to them, to charge something that I wasn't in favor of giving it to them for a dollar, or free you may as well say. The city wasn't in the financial shape to do it," said Ward 5 Councilman Joey Boudin.

Other council members agree with him.

"The chamber is phenomenal. They do a phenomenal job, not only for the city of Bay St. Louis, but for the entire county. But again, we don't want to sit struggling with our bills, and they pay a dollar a year," said Ward 3 Councilman Jeffrey Reed.

The Chamber's executive director, Tish Williams, says it's not as simple as that. She says when the one dollar a year lease started, a $9,000 dollar yearly operations grant from the city went away.

Williams says the chamber also agreed to staff the city visitors center as part of the deal.

"So we are delivering economic development services that have value to our businesses' community," said Williams.

She and others point out the city provides free building space to other non-profits like the Boy's and Girls club, the County Senior Citizens Program and the Bay-Waveland Garden Club.

"They are totally, totally different entities. I don't think they get the income our chamber gets," said Councilman Reed.

Boudin says he's not anti-chamber, But says it's time the chamber steps up.

Next week, the city will meet with chamber leaders to discuss numbers.

"If it's worthwhile for the city and a good deal for the taxpayer, I will certainly be in-favor of leasing it to the Chamber. If it's not a good deal, I'm going to make a motion to go ahead and put the building up for sale," said Boudin.

The meeting between the city and the Chamber will be held next Tuesday, November 19 at 4:30 PM at the City Hall Chambers. The city's regular council meeting will follow that.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Two arrested for burglary and restaurant fire, police say

    Two arrested for burglary and restaurant fire, police say

    Friday, January 19 2018 9:43 PM EST2018-01-20 02:43:18 GMT
    Police say the suspects took a safe and a cash register before setting the restaurant ablaze. (Photo Source: WLOX)Police say the suspects took a safe and a cash register before setting the restaurant ablaze. (Photo Source: WLOX)

    Two men have been arrested after they allegedly stole from a Saucier restaurant and set the building on fire. 

    More >>

    Two men have been arrested after they allegedly stole from a Saucier restaurant and set the building on fire. 

    More >>
  • USS Fitzgerald welcomed to new home in Pascagoula

    USS Fitzgerald welcomed to new home in Pascagoula

    Friday, January 19 2018 6:56 PM EST2018-01-19 23:56:37 GMT
    The USS Fitzgerald will undergo a two-year repair and upgrade at Ingalls Shipbuilding. (Photo Source: WLOX)The USS Fitzgerald will undergo a two-year repair and upgrade at Ingalls Shipbuilding. (Photo Source: WLOX)

    Some of the USS Fitzgerald’s crew joined hundreds of others at Point Park to see the destroyer slowly make its way to the Port of Pascagoula.

    More >>

    Some of the USS Fitzgerald’s crew joined hundreds of others at Point Park to see the destroyer slowly make its way to the Port of Pascagoula.

    More >>
  • Three people shot at Biloxi nightclub

    Three people shot at Biloxi nightclub

    Saturday, January 20 2018 3:37 AM EST2018-01-20 08:37:34 GMT
    (Source: File)(Source: File)

    Biloxi Police are searching for a man they believed opened fire outside a nightclub late Friday, injuring three people. It happened in the parking lot of the Horseshoe Lounge, a gentleman's club on Veterans Avenue. 

    More >>

    Biloxi Police are searching for a man they believed opened fire outside a nightclub late Friday, injuring three people. It happened in the parking lot of the Horseshoe Lounge, a gentleman's club on Veterans Avenue. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly