Residents Sound Off At Biloxi Council Meeting

Annexation, a new hotel and a gas station were all hot topics at Monday's Biloxi City Council Meeting. But some residents were surprised at how things turned out.

The meeting started with council going into a 45 minute executive session. After that, Biloxi residents got their chance to speak.

Several residents expressed their opposition about Biloxi's fight with the city of D'Iberville over expanding the city's northern boundaries by more than 12 miles.

"I think you bit off more than you can chew by annexing what you have," one resident said.

Council was set to re-visit the issue after councilman Mike Fitzpatrick proposed an ordinance which would reverse the council's August vote to proceed with annexation, but ultimately council pulled it off the agenda. Now the city will continue its land battle with the city of D'Iberville.

Rebuilding a gas station along Highway 90 was another hot topic at the meeting.

"Within reason, we can't have too many of them but one is not too many. If we want people to show up as far as tourists and establishment, or to reestablish that market in which we were founded on, we've got to show up first," said councilman Charles Harrison, Jr.

However, some council members fear that the look of traditional gas stations will not work with the city's plan of revitalization. So leaders with Clark Oil presented new plans for their beach front property.

"We've changed the canopy, we've changed the building not to look like the conventional gas station," said Barry Rose with Clark Oil.

With Clark's revised plan, the city gave the go-ahead for the oil company to move forward with rebuilding. Now it's up to the planning commission whether or not the city of Biloxi will move one step closer to putting gas back on the beach.

The council also passed a resolution for the application of a new Hilton Garden Inn. The seven story hotel would be located on Beach Boulevard near Rodenberg. Developers are still working with the council on traffic and drainage issues. If that plan is approved, contractors would begin building as early as February 2008.