Bay Harbor Commission working to establish its own governing rules
By Cassandra Favre
Nov 26, 2013, 20:22
The Bay St. Louis Harbor Commission met with the city council on Monday in a workshop session to discuss the city's harbor ordinance.
The commission has met eight times since its inception and has focused efforts on drafting an ordinance.
"We looked at ordinances that were being used along the Mississippi Gulf Coast," commission Chairman Lee Seal said. "The Pass Christian ordinance was the best one that we saw for our recommendations."
Some highlights of the ordinance include: Duties of the commission, such as making recommendations to mayor and council; provisions for the commission to make recommendations for staffing levels and qualifications required; fees and rates will be approved annually by the mayor and council; the harbor master shall not have a weapon or police authority; and no slip will be rented for the purpose of selling or leasing boats to the general public.
Ward Two Councilwoman Wendy McDonald thanked commission members for their work.
"I just want to thank you all for what you're doing," McDonald said. "I know you are working every week and that's a big commitment. We are just trying to make this work and you guys have done a lot of research,"
Council members made changes to the ordinance and submitted it back to the commission for review.
The final draft of the ordinance is expected to be presented at the next city council meeting on Dec. 3, at 5:30 p.m.
According to Seal, the next items for commission review will be rate structures, fees, harbor master job descriptions, lease agreement and staffing levels and salaries.
"We would like to advertise for a harbor master as soon as possible," Seal said. "We've got to get together a list of requirements and a minimum pay range.
"It will have to be competitive to what the other harbors on the Coast are paying."
Seal said commissioners feel a sense of urgency and hope to have a harbor master by the end of March at the latest. According to Director of the BSL Community Development Department Buz Olsen "harbor construction is still on schedule."
The harbor commission meets every Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the fire station on Main Street.