Grant And Tideland Funds Pay For Pass Harbor Work - - The News for South Mississippi

Grant And Tideland Funds Pay For Pass Harbor Work

Ronnie Arguelles owns one of the three seafood businesses in the Pass Christian Harbor. The wall of his building that faces the water leans over, and Arguelles says there are cracks in the walls.

"You can see where the cracks have opened up and it looks like my business is falling, falling in and there's nothing underneath to support it. So we need this shoring up, we need to hold the wall together, it's coming apart you can see," Arguelles said. 

The cracks and holes are visible all along the wall and as the structure continues to weaken, it puts nearby Market Street in jeopardy.

"You have no support for the wall, so therefore the wall's in the process of falling in the harbor," Mayor Billy McDonald said. "When that happens, you have your wholesalers who have their offices here and their stores here, they too will be out of business. Then the street will eventually erode and and it'll all be in the harbor and we're talkin' about millions and millions of dollars to restore this."

Years of erosion is taking a toll on the the wall, but until now repairing it was too expensive for the city to finance. So the mayor says a combination of funds is paying for it. The work is funded with two grants and tidelands money totalling $1.4 million.

"We're extremely fortunate the bids came in approximately $1.2 million so we'll certainly have enough money to do this project."

McDonald says even at a million dollars, rebuilding the wall is still a lot cheaper than having to spend several million more dollars if the wall were to collapse.

Since the tidelands and grant money is paying for the work, no tax or bond increases are needed. The work will be finished later this year.

By Marcia Hill

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