Gulfport City Council convened this past Tuesday for their longest meeting in 12 months, and it was a tough one to slog through. The gathering primarily focused on discussion items related to the 2015/2016 fiscal year budget and all the numbers, details, opinions and potential commitments that came with it. Also, decisions were made on what to include on council’s June 11 budget workshop agenda.
First came the 2016 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) discussion. The CIP’s purpose is to identify and document additions, expansions or reductions in capital equipment, facilities or programs. One of this year’s highlights was its heavy focus on the city’s sanitary sewer system, for which the program’s budget provided funding in the amount of $800,000 through the balance of the city’s participation in the State Revolving Loan Fund program. This program visually inspects sewer mains with cameras, performs point repairs, repairs manholes and either slip-lines or replaces deteriorated pipes. The second notable thing on the CIP budget was the funding of roadway pavement in the amount of $335,000 as set forth in last year’s CIP Budget.
The meeting concluded with arguably the hottest discussion item of the night: What was to be placed on council’s June 11 workshop agenda. Of the 10 items vying for one of the highly coveted spots – which takes each respective cause one step closer to future funding – a generous seven made it on: (1) an initial presentation of the preliminary Fiscal Year 2016 budget and fund analysis; (2) staff activities related to Lincoln Cemetery; (3) a potential parking study in the City’s Waterfront Redevelopment Area and the subsequent retaining of a firm to perform such study; (4) potential funding for the development and construction of a city-operated mooring field; (5) a discussion and consideration of the creation and adoption of a Bank Foreclosure Registry ordinance and the related consideration of a contracted management vendor; (6) a possible request to expand the operating hours of the Senior Center’s fitness facility; and (7) the consideration of a request from Gulfport’s Senior Advisory Committee to commission a feasibility study to explore the creation of a city-sponsored living facility for elder living.