Gulfport Mayor Ken Combs plans to sit down with the city council later this month and figure out how to solve the water problems in Orange Grove. But in the meantime, Mayor Combs says the city is going to be digging ditches off Three Rivers Road and working with a subdivision contractor to install pipes that can take in ground water.
Earlier this month, some Orange Grove residents presented a petition to the Gulfport City Council asking for a moratorium on development in that area until water, sewer and drainage problems are solved. Mayor Combs says a moratorium would hamper the city from raising the $200 million it needs to spend to fix the problems.
"Our biggest need right now is money to solve some of the problems we have and a moratorium would stop growth," Mayor Combs said. "It would stop the tax base and therefore put us in a deeper hole than we're in now."
Mayor Combs says fixing the problems in Orange Grove needs to be the city's number one priority. That's because the water system affects the city's fire rating and fire ratings affect insurance costs. If Orange Grove has a low rating, Combs says insurance costs will go up for the rest of the city.