Pascagoula Resident Have Mixed Feelings About Townhall Meeting - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/22/05

Pascagoula Resident Have Mixed Feelings About Townhall Meeting

"We're here to answer questions," Pascagoula Mayor Mathew Avara said Monday night.

And within no time, Avara and the rest of the city council got an ear full.

"I had a hard time interpreting what the Internet said," said one resident.

"Who determines the fifty percent rule?" asked another.

"My neighbors six feet away don't have to raise their home?" one man asked.

Since most of the questions revolved around flood elevation, the city's building official Steve Mitchell did most of the talking. Hundreds of spectators listened in, hoping to hear the magic words that might take their problems away.

"I'm hoping to find out if the zones changed in my area. That way when we do rebuild, we'll be up to code," Resident Cherie Foreston said.

Others just want a few foggy issues cleared up.

"Why isn't FEMA buying out more homes? We got all of this money coming in. Where is it for these people?" Resident Dwight Baker asked.

"What is confusing? What is not confusing? The whole thing is," Dennis Dunn said.

Many residents came to show their support for legislation that would provide relief for hurricane victims with no flood insurance.

"They haven't said much yet. They've been stuck on elevation. Not that that's not important, but it doesn't affect me. I want to know about relief. That's what caught my eye," Resident Jeffery King said.

It was a meeting meant to answer questions. But wether it was a success depends on who you ask.

"I'm just kind of taking in everything. What I can do, what I can't do," Foreston said.

"They don't know. They don't have an answer," Baker added.

"I don't know. It's a slow process," Dunn said.

City manager Kay Kell said Pascagoula had not planned on having another meeting, but officials are taking questions on paper and hope to respond to them as soon as they can.

By Jaimee Goad

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