OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Board members knew the repairs had to be made, because the sidewalk is very popular with visitors and locals alike. In the cash strapped city, the cost is a major concern.
"We have spent over $100,000 on a 250 foot repair. That's an awful lot of money, and if we continue to have problems, and we have a track record of having maintenance issues down there, we don't have those funds," said Alderman Matt McDonnell.
The repaired section will be tied into the existing seawall, which should make it stronger, but the rest of the mile long sidewalk is also a concern, according to Alderman Bobby Cox.
"We've had X-ray scanning done on the sidewalk, and I think we've recognized all the other problem areas, and we're going to try to address those," Cox said.
Addressing those problems is just fine for the hundreds who use the sidewalk each week. One of them is Mildred Bean.
"Well, I'm grateful for it to be repaired. I really enjoy coming down here to walk, and it's nice to have a straight sidewalk instead of having to make the detour around," Bean said.
Aldermen also voted to take a look at a way to permanently fund maintenance for the Front Beach sidewalk. They say if they don't do that, and do it soon, other city departments could suffer. That's the word from Alderman Michael Impey.
"If we don't have a funding mechanism in place like Alderman McDonnell said, then we have to draw from different parts of the public works budget. Obviously, if we have to pull from that budget, then other things throughout the city don't get done," Impey explained.
For now, getting the sidewalk done is at the top of the list. The $46,000 price tag for this repair project will be paid for with diverted tidelands money.