PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Pascagoula Mayor Dane Maxwell is in our nation's capital this week meeting with department leaders. He said he thinks the Department of Defense or Congress should pay for the bill for Pascagoula's aging infrastructure and some public departments.
The reason he said is that the city provides the infrastructure and public services such as the police department to thousands of employees at Ingalls and the heavy machinery that is moved at Ingalls. While he said he's thankful for the company, he said the over 80-year-old infrastructure in the city and public departments are being maintained thanks to resident taxpayers. He doesn't think that's fair.
"We're also asking for help for the infrastructure where Ingalls is ramping up the East bank. You know the thing about Ingalls is they are a great company. Our police department is the size of a city with 70,000 people. We have to because even though we only have about 28,000 during the day, it explodes to about 70,000. So, our P.D. has to be ramped up to take care of those folks and nobody pays for it, but the taxpayers of Pascagoula. And we're tired of that," said Maxwell.
"It's time. If they are going to award a ship contract to Ingalls Shipbuilding, they need to put some funding in there for the infrastructure for us to support that."
In some cases, he said when a large contract is awarded in the city, the DOD or Congress should add funding to help maintain the infrastructure and public services used by Ingalls and its employees.
"Look the State of Mississippi just gave them $45 million to help with their cranes. The reality is we should get $45 million to rebuild the infrastructure from all the way down Market Street to Ingalls Avenue to help those large trucks that are coming in there. Our infrastructure is 80 plus years old. We've gotta have some help, and there are no more days of walking away and taking this. I told everyone that when I got in office I was going to tackle these big issues and that's what I'm doing. I'm not going to kick the can down the street," said Maxwell.