Columbus mayor defends opposition to canceling Waggoner contract
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Columbus Mayor Keith Gaskin is defending his veto of the City Council’s decision to cancel its contract with Waggoner Engineering.
Citing their expertise in dealing with flooding and watershed issues and their success in helping others in the state, Gaskin still believes Waggoner is the right firm for the job.
Gaskin said Waggoner has already done extensive legwork to determine priorities, and that they were instrumental in securing an extra $3 million of Federal money to address blight in the city.
The mayor said he understands that people are frustrated because they haven’t seen shovels hitting dirt or had relief from flooding issues yet, but problems of this size require detailed planning, and Waggoner is the best bet to get the city the most for its money.
“In my opinion, Waggoner has the experience from other areas of the state where they have brought in large Federal money to help other cities correct these types of problems, and I just wanted the Council to reevaluate this again; look closely at what they’ve done so far, and what they can potentially do in the beginning to address these issues that we may never have another opportunity to address again. So, that’s why I feel strongly that we need to reassess it,” said Gaskin.
The Mayor and Council members are working to find a time next week to schedule a special call meeting.