Comment Bump: Of railroad tracks, overpasses and taxpayer loot in Pascagoula

Not long after Slabbed began covering the SRHS crash and burn I was contacted by a knowledgeable observer from out of this area that was kind enough to give me a refresher on Pascagoula/Jackson County politics dating back a generation or so.  The story involved SInging River Hospital and those pesky yet economically wonderful railroad tracks that run through the City of Pascagoula and a politically connected landowner. I filed that bit of wisdom away because such background, even though it is ancient history, often comes in handy when deciphering the more recent, topical events.

All of this is a long winded way of saying it was only natural when commenter Ben Dover appeared on the scene here on Slabbed Monday night, commenting on an old post that is not linkable from the Recent Comments widget on the right sidebar they would resonate with me. As such, Ben’s comments, posted to an old untitled music post, were strictly on the inside for those following Slabbed on twitter…..until now that is.  I personally can’t wait for Ben to finish the timeline:

Horny Problems in Pascagoula. Kicking over some rocks to see what’s under.

Just the other day I was out for a walk. I heard the train horn and thought to myself something like “Hope Morris didn’t hear that!” Then I thought to myself why would he have such a problem with those trains? Because even before the SRHS financial fiascos were revealed, Morris seemed to have the proverbial hard on to do something about those horns. I know they are loud and no doubt many guests at the Hilton Garden Inn in Pascagoula appreciate such old fashioned sounds less than I do (see various online reviews/complaints for the details.) Then too, building the Jackson County Chamber building about 50 feet from the crossing and then complaining about the noise was a stroke of something.

Then I thought to self something like: Maybe there is more to this horny problem?

The first item was finding out that one of SRHS “investments” was the Pascagoula Senior Center. The second item was a proposed senior assisted living center right next door to the new senior center. There turned out to be government financing, an LLC, Morris Strickland, a new Pascagoula Redevelopment Authority, bids; need a timeline to help sort it out!

I did my best but there might be a typo or a mistake. Post any corrections right here!

1. March 15 2010
“Darcie Crew, the city’s recreation director, talks about the center’s amenities last week in the building’s fitness center, which was made possible in part thanks to a partnership with Singing River Hospital Systems.”

2. November 3, 2010
RAGS Properties LLC formed.
“Development and management of assisted living facility”
“Registered Agent: M. Gentry Williams”
“Manager One: M. Gentry Williams”
“Contact Member: Roy C. Williams” See Mississippi Secretary Of State.

3. April 5, 2011
Pascagoula City Council meets.
“A Resolution Establishing the Pascagoula Redevelopment Authority” Adopted unanimously and in effect from and after passage. Page 13 of minutes.

4. April 5, 2011
City Council meeting continues. “Next for consideration was a proposal for Live Oak site redevelopment activities as presented by Jaci Turner, Program Manager. Arthur Knapp, developer, also briefed the Council on the proposed 80 unit assisted living facility. He advised the units”…”The proposed letter of support for this development is spread on the minutes as follows:”…

“The City is interested in entering an agreement to sell the land needed to develop this project to RAGS LLC (sic apparently), and to work to support the development as much as possible.”…
Minutes page 32 same link as #3.

5. February 6, 2012
Value Tech Realty Services Inc
Pascagoula Assisted Living Market Study
A Proposed, 80 bed Assisted Living and Alzheimer/Memory Care Facility Located at 1806 Live Oak Avenue
There are a lots of details, but this one concerning “Noise” was interesting.
“There are train tracks to the south of the site. A quiet zone is being established that will prohibit train horns from blowing in addition to landscaping to buffer. Thus, any noise concerns will be mitigated.”

6. February 26, 2012Roy
Miss Press editorial “Assisted Living Helps Pascagoula”.

“Morris Strickland, representing the RAGS group, said a government backed loan has been secured for the project and the option on the land is needed to proceed.”

Ben wasn’t done either:

6. February 26, 2012
Miss Press editorial “Assisted living project helps Pascagoula (editorial)”.

“An upscale assisted-living center proposed for Pascagoula appears to be the kind of public-private partnership the CityCouncil and the Pascagoula Redevelopment Authority should continue to pursue.

Local development team RAGS LLC (sic apparently) and Memphis based”…

“The developers originally were planning to build the facility on the old LaFont Inn site in U.S. 90, where they are building a Hilton Garden Inn and some restaurants.

Those plans changed last spring, and the City Council approved the developers’ decision to pursue plans on the Live Oak Avenue site. Morris Strickland, representing the RAGS group, said a government backed loan has been secured for the project and the option on the land is needed to proceed.

The next step is for the council to vote on a resolution March 6 to convey the property to the authority, which will negotiate a deal for the land with the developers.”

7. March 5 2012
Pascagoula Redevelopment Authority Solicits bids for “Live Oak Assisted Living Facility” as follows:
“Posted Date: Mar 21, 2012″
“Due Date: Apr 18, 2012″

8. March 6, 2012
Pascagoula City Council votes 4-3 to convey Live Oak Avenue property to Pascagoula Redevelopment Authority. As reported by Miss Press on March 7, 2012: “Pascagoula council conveys property to redevelopment authority for assisted living facility”

9. May 8, 2013
Miss Press apparently first report on the horny problems in Pascagoula headline is “Pascagoula should hush noisy train horns, businessman Morris Strickland says ”

“Pascagoula residents and businesses need relief from noisy and disruptive train horns, local businessman Morris Strickland said Tuesday night before asking city leaders to study the feasibility of quiet zones.”

5 thoughts on “Comment Bump: Of railroad tracks, overpasses and taxpayer loot in Pascagoula”

  1. I’m curious about the iHOP and the new road beside it that is named for a doctor. The iHOP is convenient to the Senior Center via the new road.

  2. And while looking around on the Sec of State website, it might be interesting to note the various entities involving “nursing homes” and other entities intertwined with various combinations of folks like the Williams’, the St. Pe/Lassitter families, Ed Trehern, Paula Yancey and her husband, the Walker/DMR bunch and other players in the various Jackson County-based dealings, failures, f-ups, etc., both intertwined and separate and apart from SRHS and the SRHS pension (two different problems at two technically different entities). Also, there is the Pascagoula bank started by this same interconnected group of folks, with a few “select” doctors also on board. And then, if reports are correct, Morris Strickland was the trustee in charge of investing for the SRHS pension. Combine this with the various connections with members of Dogan and Wilkinson, including what entities they represent and bill, and there may be a number of things that look very interesting.

    One of the questions I’d be asking is if these folks, who are basically running the show, are all just honest, astute businesspeople who just can’t help making money from everything they touch, why isn’t the SRHS pension fund, along with various other Jackson County “public coffers,” enjoying the same level of success and income?

    This isn’t a prediction, just an observation, but if the feds decide they really want in, one or more somebody(s), probably a mid- or low-level player(s), will get grabbed up and get the speech: “Your life as you knew it is over. You are in serious trouble and you will be going to prison. The only question you need to ask yourself at this moment is, ‘ do I want to be out in 2 to 5 or 20 to 30?’ If the answer is ‘2 to 5,’ here is what you WILL do…stop crying like a little girl, you’ll short out the wire and it just makes you look even more pathetic.” For further details as to this little picture, look no further than the Scruggs situation and Balducci. Who knows, perhaps it has happened already. And here’s an interesting bit of trivia – Scott Walker has two strikes and the threat of a third would most likely be a chest-grabber for him. The only unknowns might be is just how big an asshole was he in round one and if he acted like the entitled little turd reports indicate, does he actually know enough to overcome the past and earn himself a laydown instead of a bendover.

    1. This all reminds me of a rental house I once owned out in the county. A septic tank was in use for years trouble free. Then the wrong people moved in and I had to constantly have a pumping service go out and clean it out. After about the fifth time paying to have the items removed from this septic tank, that I specifically told the renters not to place in the commodes or sinks, I evicted the trash from my rental house. This whole group of people you mention Nunn are like the garbage in that septic tank. They must be removed and disposed of along with the basTURDs that put them there. All it will take is for one person who does not want to be indicted to step forward and use the “First in First Out” rule. Hell, that is what Robbie Maxwell did that kept him from being involved or indicted along with Scott Walker. Have you ever wondered how he pulled that off? Trent Lott taught him well. People have already said Scott Walker has recently told authorities all he knows because he wants out. Could this include the insider deals at the hospital he has knowledge of? You can bet he wants others shamed and disgraced just as his family has been. Truth is he probably has committed less crimes that some of the people in the SRHS scandal spotlight.

  3. What is the complete story of Morris Strickland now asking Pascagoula for help? Is some of his businesses in trouble?

    Maybe he couldn’t get those pesky ole trains to stop blowing their whistles? But those trains were there before Strickland and he knows it.

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