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Biloxi Mayor Calls Special Meeting on Flood-Elevation Issue

From: City of Biloxi - Vincent Creel      Filed 5/15/06 GCN

Mayor A.J. Holloway, armed with a State Ethics Commission opinion okaying Councilmember Ed Gemmill to vote on proposed new flood elevations, has called a special meeting of the City Council for Tuesday at 11:30 a.m., when the mayor hopes councilmembers will vote to approve the FEMA-recommended flood elevations.

The council has declined to vote on the measure since February, instead proposing a watered-down version of the FEMA-recommended flood elevations, which are designed to reduce the damage from storms and flooding. The council had hoped to have the matter on the agenda last week when another snag arose.

The delay surrounded whether Ward 6 Councilmember Gemmill could vote on the issue, since he and thousands of others who lost their homes would quality for increased cost of compliance or “ICC” grants of up to $30,000. Gemmill lost his north Biloxi home to Hurricane Katrina.

This morning, the city received a State Ethics Commission opinion that the ICC grant “is clearly designed not to benefit the recipient but to help cover the increased cost of complying with heightened elevations.”

To read the agenda for the 11:30 a.m. special meeting and the 1:30 p.m. meeting, click here.

To read background on the FEMA flood elevation issue, click here.

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