MEMA Cottages Top Rebuilding Concerns In East Biloxi

BILOXI (WLOX) -- From zoning to roadways, from casinos to condos, people in East Biloxi had their say Tuesday night about future plans for their community.

Ward One Councilman George Lawrence held a town hall meeting to discuss some of those concerns. Within the first five minutes of the meeting, it was clear what residents had on their minds.

"The MEMA cottages are probably the single most mitigation success story in the aftermath of Katrina," said one homeowner.

"Are they going to sell them to us? Are they going to give them to us? What is the deal," asked one woman.

Residents want the city to make up its mind on MEMA cottages. However, city leaders say it's not that simple.

"We can't force that issue until they finish the process that they are going through," said Councilman Lawrence.

The meeting didn't produce any answers when it came to the MEMA debate, but there were other issues people didn't mind talking about like zoning and infrastructure. Others wanted to know about extension plans for Back Bay Boulevard.

"Is there a plan or proposed plan for Pine Street? And if so, what kind of effect will that have on my wife and I," asked one East Biloxi resident.

"Right now what the city has done is they've commissioned a study to look at the extension of Back Bay Boulevard to connect down to Highway 90, so they would complete that four-way connector," said Jonathan Kaiser with Neal Schaffer.

Even though there are no final plans for Back Bay Boulevard, the fact that the city is considering acquiring property in certain areas was enough for some residents to speak up.

Councilman George Lawrence says hashing out the issues of East Biloxi is exactly what the meeting was all about. Now residents have a new concern: What's next for Ward One?