Council recap: How much is air space?

Plenty of personnel comings and goings at last night’s Bay St. Louis City Council meeting. Plus putting a price on air space. Keep reading.

The mayor told the council that David Kolf, the municipal clerk, was under a doctor’s care and recommended Katherine Smith, the city’s comptroller, take over the clerk job. The five members present approved the recommendation. Members Wendy McDonald and Joey Boudin were absent.

The council voted to accept Chet LeBlanc’s resignation from the Harbor Commission and shortly afterwards voted to appoint LeBlanc to the Planning and Zoning Board. The Harbor Commission makeup will stay at five members.

The city will advertise for the city clerk job to replace the retiring Jane Carrow.

Guess how much air space in the Bay is worth? The council guessed $5 a square foot. That’s how much they will charge the owner of the business under construction on South Beach next to Buoy’s. The three-story building will have an 8-foot by 8-foot cantilever balcony on the second and third floors that will jut out over city and state property below. The secretary of state doesn’t want columns built on the property to keep the space open since it belongs to the public. The air space will be leased on a yearly basis and the money will go to the Harbor fund.

In other parts of the proceedings:

Capt. Sonny Schindler asked the council for an update on signage to be installed at the harbor to direct people to charter boats. The city will take a look at similar signs in the Pass and Long Beach for ideas.

No action taken on the Murphy family’s proposed bait shop in the harbor or on the sand beach vendor ordinance. Some property owners are concerned about the vendor ordinance’s potential liability issues, which the city will address.

Lots of discussion about the fill-dirt rules and how they’re stopping development. Councilman Seal said the city would “try to figure some method to the madness” in dealing with the issue. To be continued at the next meeting.

The council approved a 200-foot wave screen (concrete pilings with a vinyl screen) to be built at the entrance of the harbor. The money will come from Tidelands funds. The bid process will begin and an engineering firm will be hired. All courtesy of the prevailing southeast winds.

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