City leaders are pleasantly surprised with how receptive property owners have been to their request to remove slabs left by Hurricane Katrina.
“This week, they have been pouring in. The residents and the citizens really understand what we're trying to do and clean up some eyesores after Katrina,” said Greg Pietrangelo.
Pietrangelo is Gulfport’s Urban Development Director. He says they sent out more than 280 letters. So far, more than 30 people have responded with their plan of action.
“The letter said 14 days, and what we're asking them to do is contact our office, let us see what their action plan is or game plan is. Some of them are immediately taking out permits. They have 180 days to fulfill the permit,” said Pietrangelo.
Not everyone wants to see the slabs go. One Gulfport resident wants to see a few of them left around.
“It keeps them occupied. It's a nice sport. They're awesome kids,” said Claudia Keyes.
Keyes is referring to her grandson and other teens who skateboard on a slab off Highway 90 in downtown Gulfport.
“Since the skate park has been taken away by the county, this is where they all meet on the weekends and after school,” said Keyes.
While Keyes doesn't have a problem with the slabs being removed, she does feel like a few left behind slabs add character to the city, especially when they are being utilized.
“Maybe I just have a positive spin. I agree that it has been 10 years and it is coming back. It's beautiful, more beautiful than it was before. I'm just saying let this please be the last one,” said Keyes.