Moss Point decides to keep restaurant dining rooms shut for another week

King stands firm in his decision to limit Moss Point’s restaurants to dine-in and take out services.
Updated: May. 6, 2020 at 6:41 AM CDT
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MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - Restaurant dining rooms in Moss Point will remain closed for another week, following a decision made by the city’s Board of Aldermen.

Mayor Mario King broke a tied vote during the virtual Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday night. King stands firm in his decision to limit Moss Point’s restaurants to take out services, citing a concern that the coronavirus pandemic is not yet under control.

"People are getting tired, people are getting restless and people are wanting to see things open up, but we're just not there yet," said Mayor King.

On Monday, Governor Tate Reeves announced that restaurants will be allowed to reopen on Thursday, May 7 at 8 a.m. The restaurants must adhere to strict regulations that include COVID-19 training for employees and seating adjustments that allow for no more than 50 percent maximum capacity.

Alderman Wayne Lennep voted in favor of re-opening restaurant dining rooms in accordance with the guidelines set by Reeves. Lennep fears Moss Point’s eateries will lose more money as people travel to neighboring cities to dine in.

“He’s not just setting everybody free. It’s really just a baby step to allow more business activity,” he said. “These businesses need to operate and these people depend on their livelihood, and we as a city depend on business activity for our livelihood”.

During the meeting, Lennep stated that cases in Moss Point are more contained since the March business closures.

“Everything we’ve done has helped slow that and I think we just need to give our people a little bit of breathing room here,” he said.

Alderman Sherwood Bradford, who voted to continue the limitations on Moss Point restaurants, responded in opposition.

“I think we need to stick to the strictest policies we can,” said Bradford.

Bradford does not believe it is the right time to lift restrictions restaurants, noting a spike of coronavirus cases in states that have recently reopened.

"We do not need to give the county the impression that all is well because trust me, all is not well," said Bradford.

Mayor King says the Board of Aldermen will discuss whether to re-open restaurant dine-in services during next week’s board meeting.

Thursday, some restrictions on restaurants and dining in Mississippi are being lifted. But not in Moss Point.

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