- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes wants slabs and pilings left behind when Hurricane Katrina tore the businesses and homes removed.

Hewes said Tuesday the debris is “unsightly” and a “blight.”

The Sun Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1LgNa6C) the city council will consider July 7 an ordinance to require people to remove the debris. Driveways, patios, retaining walls and sidewalks could remain, but under the proposal slabs and pilings have to go.

“Most folks feel like 10 years is long enough to get your property cleaned up after the storm,” Hewes said.

Urban Development Director Greg Pietrangelo said the city hopes slabs and pilings will be pulled up by year’s end if the ordinance passes.

Pietrangelo said the city has found about 300 slabs or pilings, and not all concentrated along the waterfront as people might think. Inland waterways also flooded a number of communities during Katrina.

The city would then notify an offending property owner by registered mail two weeks before scheduling a hearing on whether the property should be declared a nuisance. Once it is declared a nuisance, the property owner would have to remove the slab or pilings within 30 days. Failure to do so would allow the city to do the work and charge the property owner.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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