Group Seeks Legal Advice To Save Library

GULFPORT (WLOX) -- The fight continues to save the old downtown Gulfport library, but now the group 'We are the People' has a different plan of action.

Wednesday night they held a special meeting where the group is getting some legal advice on how to save the library.

There were some familiar faces at the special meeting and some new ones too. But whether these people know each other or not, what they do know is that they need help in saving the downtown library.

"We've gone to the city, we've gone to the mayor, we've gone to the city council, so what choices do we have left," said Caprice Clark, a member of 'We the People.'

She says the organization has exhausted almost all of its options. That's why they called on attorney Henry Laird to help.

"It narrows down to a very simple question in my mind. Will the federal funds available to rebuild or repair the library be used to move the library to Orange Grove, as well as to repair the old one in downtown Gulfport?" Laird said.

It's the million dollar question, and the attorney thinks he has the answer.

"We are either very right or very wrong, and I think we're very right," Laird said.

The group says they've been told several times that funds from FEMA cannot be used to restore the downtown library, but no one's seen that in writing.

Laird says that's because there was a mutual mistake between local officials.

"I think both the county and city were told something that was not right or was misunderstood and they acted on that. If the county heard that it had to demolish the building, but it didn't have to, that's a mistake. If the city heard the same thing, that's a mistake. In that event, neither side has to move forward with demolition," Laird said.

That's why he will ask the Board of Supervisors for a moratorium on the building until he can get a written answer from FEMA. And he's confident that will in fact save the library.

Laird says he plans to speak to the Harrison County Board of Supervisors as soon as Thursday.