Harrison County To Take Over Gulfport's Library Property

From the library to an appeal of a proposed apartment community, members of Gulfport's City Council were on the same page when it came to some key issues at Tuesday's council meeting.

The hot button issue at this weeks council meeting was the fate of the Gulfport Library. There have been talks of the city turning over the property to the Harrison County Board of Supervisors.

Despite the overwhelming concern of residents, council unanimously decided to do just that. City and county leaders say the only way way to get up to $6 million in federal money is to give the land to the county.

However, residents are concerned that once the county obtains the land, they won't rebuild the library.

Harrison County Supervisor Larry Benefield assured residents that the county has no need for the land. Benefield also said that once moneys are received, plans are to move the administrative part of the library to Orange Grove and rebuild a 10,000 square foot facility in downtown Gulfport.

It's unclear whether or not the library will end up on the beach-front property.

The council also denied an appeal to build an affordable housing apartment complex near Depew Road.

Attorneys for the Franklin Point Property accused the planning commission of discriminating against affordable housing. Attorneys say the property is already zoned for a multi-family development. However residents argue that the complex will only add to their current sewer and flooding problems.

Council members tabled the resolution to build an oceanarium in Jones Park.

Councilwoman Ella Holmes-Hines says there is some litigation between owners, so council will hold off on voting until those issues are resolved.

The council members also decided to name a stretch of Highway 90 in honor of Judith Toups; founder of the Mississippi Coast Audubon Society. Toups died earlier this year. The resolution will now move on to the state legislature for a final vote.