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Officials still deciding on post-Isaac debris cleanup

OCEAN SPRINGS and MCCOMB — A decision is expected in the next couple of days on whether Jackson County will clean up Hurricane Isaac debris along East and Front beaches in Ocean Springs.

The Sun Herald reports attorneys for the city, county and secretary of state held a conference call to determine if the county can conduct the cleanup.

Attorneys are asking for a stay in the Aug. 18 ruling by Chancellor Robert Lancaster that prohibited cleanup because of property rights of two private property owners along the beachfront. He ruled their land is not part of public trust tidelands.

Officials have been awaiting the stay because the county is not by law allowed to do work on private property.

The state Department of Health has declared the beach a safety hazard.

In a separate post-Isaac cleanup item, the McComb city board is a step closer to cleaning up the decaying debris that still lines many city streets after Hurricane Isaac.

The cleanup will cost about $300,000 with the cheapest option offered.

The Enterprise-Journal reports Public Works director Philip Russell presented a plan to the board to hire Alabama-based Crowder Gulf Disaster Recovery and Debris Management. The board will vote on the hire at next week’s board meeting, and then the company can begin the cleanup.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse 75 percent of the cost — about $225,000 — which leaves the city to cover the other 25 percent, or $75,000.

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