Two Gulfport Council Members Oppose New FEMA Park - - The News for South Mississippi

Two Gulfport Council Members Oppose New FEMA Park

Just days ago FEMA officials told Gulfport City Council Members 100 thousand dollars had been spent cleaning up and making water and sewer improvements to this proposed FEMA trailer site on John Hill Boulevard.  

"FEMA came to us and said that this site was a done deal and that the city needed to move forward with it," says Ward 3 Councilwoman Ella Holmes-Hines. 

But Holmes-Hines and Ward 7's Barbara Nalley see little that's been done during their joint tour of the 26 acre site.  

"I thought that they had already cleared some of this and that work was going in the way the lady was talking from FEMA," says Nalley. "There's no work here."

That's just one reason why both say FEMA's plans to place 112 mobile homes here deserves a second look.  

"When we approved it back in November, when the council did, we were just approving possible FEMA sites," says Nalley. "We had no site plans. We didn't know what they intended to do with it."

Now that they've learned that up to 600 people could one day call this empty lot along a dead end industrial service road home, they say FEMA should reconsider.  

"This is an industrial site that has almost 80 trucks coming through it a day," says Holmes-Hines. "There will be children and disabled persons that they will consider in this site."

Especially, Nalley says, since there are already established mobile home sites like this one on Dedeaux Road, that are being under utilized.  

"We have FEMA approved sites right now, 2 of them, where there are 65 vacancies for mobile homes that, to me, should be filled before going to this site," says Nalley.

Both Council women agree getting displaced families back into safe comfortable homes is their top priority, but they say they won't agree with FEMA's plan for John Hill Boulevard until these lingering questions are answered.  

"This is definitely a problem," says Holmes-Hines, pointing to gang symbols painted on a lamp post.

by Don Culpepper

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