Pascagoula Mayor working to fix aging infrastructure

Pascagoula Mayor working to fix aging infrastructure

The city of Pascagoula is plagued with aging infrastructure, and Mayor Dane Maxwell is working on a solution.

"We don't have a problem that money can't fix, and that's simply true. If we want to fix it, we could raise taxes through the roof, and then we could do an overhaul of the city. But that's not going to happen. I'm not raising taxes like that," said Maxwell.

He is planning on increasing tax revenue by bringing in more businesses and residents. In the meantime, decades-old buildings like the Police Department are making it by. Police Chief Kenny Johnson says the building has seen better days.

"We're constantly having to work on it and make repairs," said Johnson.

Angie Stewart has a rough time managing the city library with its leaking walls and windows.

"And you know what the weather's like around here, so anytime it rains we've got buckets ready to catch any of the overflow," said Stewart.

The Mayor believes the issue has been a battle between quick fixes versus long-term solutions.

"You have a problem with a building, you patch it. You have a problem with a street, you patch it. You have a problem with any other kind of infrastructure or structure the city has, you put a band-aid on it. What we need to do is fix it," said Maxwell.

In some cases, Maxwell said the repairs cost more than the buildings are worth, so it may be more feasible to tear them down and start over. But, that comes back to the money issue, and Maxwell knows more tax revenue won't show up overnight.

"If I can't fix it in my administration, I'm going to certainly have the pathway for whoever takes my place to continue the maintenance and fixing it, so we don't ever have this problem again," said Maxwell.

According to Maxwell, there are more than 1000 properties that were sent to the Secretary of State's office for back taxes. He said those properties could soon be back on the city's tax role which could help with the revenue stream.

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