Mayor Barker addresses Mt. Carmel during meeting

Mayor Barker addresses Mt. Carmel during meeting

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker attended the League of Women Voters Meeting at the Jackie Dole Sherrill Community Center Monday.

The mayor took questions from audience members on a range of issues including the city's budget and education.

One topic of concern for many residents was Mt. Carmel Baptist Church.

The mayor said the city council has scheduled a public hearing, putting it up for bids if that's the route that's chosen.

He said the safety of citizens is a main concern, and keeping Main Street closed for the least amount of time.

Mayor Barker said demolishing the church could cost more than $400,000.

“Early estimates could be everywhere in that range. However, once it goes up for bid, we'll actually see what it costs to abate the asbestos in the building as well as take the church down and have it up to a safe site,” Mayor Barker explained.