Gulfport Asking Property Owners to Remove Slabs Left from Katrina

We’re nearing the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and concrete slabs still occupy many empty properties throughout Gulfport. City leaders say enough time has passed and are calling on property owners to clean up their land.
If you drive through the neighborhoods near Hwy 90 in Gulfport, you won’t only see empty plots of land, but also proof of the destruction of Hurricane Katrina caused nearly a decade ago. Mayor Billy Hewes said,” If folks have a piece of property that is neglected or blighted in this fashion, they need to go ahead and deal with it.”
The city of Gulfport is considering strengthening an ordinance that will hopefully lead to the removal of these slabs. If passed in the coming weeks, the city will send out notices to property owners indicating a certain amount of time to clear their property. If they refuse to do so, the city will then have the authority to remove them.
“If they don’t comply, then we advertise for removal and then we’ll have a company that will come in and actually remove it. We’ll just assess the property owner and it will be added to their tax bill,” said Ricky Dombrowski, Gulfport councilman, ward 2.
Notices requesting removal have already been sent out in the past month. Some property owners took initiative to remove their slabs right away, but the city feels stronger action may be needed to clear the rest of them. “They just don’t look good. Ten years is long enough. Folks have had plenty of opportunity to clean them up, to clear them,” said Mayor Hewes.
Mayor Hewes tells News 25 the city of Gulfport as a whole is continuing to move forward and rebuild but these slabs are constant reminders of the destruction Katrina wreaked along the Coast. The city says it’s time to get rid of those eyes for good, leaving the past in the past and building toward the future.
The city tabled changing the current ordinance and will bring it up again during the July meeting.

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