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Another Announcement of Grants to Help Revitalize Coastal Communities
Governor Says $97 Million on the Way

By Keith Burton    Filed 5/9/07  GCN

Many residents on the Coast have wondered where all of the federal money for Hurricane Katrina recovery has been in light of the slow progress communities are seeing regarding rebuilding. Much of the federal money, which totaled nearly $90 billion for the Katrina Disaster Zone, is still percolating through the federal and state bureaucracies 20 months after Katrina. In Mississippi, the federal money is being moved mostly through the Governor's office and the Mississippi Development Authority. Wednesday, Governor Barbour announced where some of money the state has received is going next.

The governor announced more than $97.2 million in grants to help with post-Katrina revitalization projects in 15 coastal communities, ranging from new fire stations in Bay St. Louis, Moss Point, Picayune, Poplarville and Waveland to a county services complex in Jackson County.

“Many of these grants will help implement ideas generated shortly after Hurricane Katrina during the 'charrette' process undertaken by the Governor's Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal. That comprehensive early work with leaders from business, education, government and, in fact, all walks of local community life is paying dividends today. These projects will help restore many public resources on the Mississippi Coast, greatly improving day-to-day life for residents and helping the region come back stronger than ever,” Governor Barbour said in a news release sent to GCN.

Over the months since the hurricane, the governor and other political officials have made a series of announcements regarding money being approved for projects and recovery work, suggesting that the money is in the hands of local officials to get started with the repairs. But announcements do not mean the money is in the local's hands.

This delay of funds between announcements and actual work, has misled many people outside of the Katrina Disaster Zone to think that the repairs are well on the way the people and cities in the Katrina Disaster Zone are back on their feet. Readers should note that the charrettes mentioned in the Governor's statement were held in 2005 and it has taken this long for some of those plans to find the funds to bare fruit.

Still, the news of yet another funding announcement is another indicator of future goodness, but note that none of the projects listed below have actually been completed, most have yet to even start.

In addition, funds to help the communities plan for the future are also just now coming through.

Governor Barbour said a total of $7.2 million in grants have been approved to help communities plan for new growth and development, an important element in recovery efforts. “The issue of how best to manage growth and development is important to the long-term economic health of the Coast. This funding will help local communities find what works best for them.”

Community Revitalization grants include the following:

Bay St. Louis
$7,833,500 - Waterfront improvements and construction of downtown parking with retail mixed use.

Bay St. Louis 2
$2,166,500 - Construction of a new fire station.

Biloxi
$4,000,000 - Convert the damaged Biloxi Public Library into Civic Center.
$8,000,000 - Construction of a lighthouse park and visitors center.

D’Iberville
$6,192,000 - Reconstruction of the main thoroughfares in the Historic Downtown and waterfront areas.

Gulfport
$7,575,000 - Main Street Area Streetscape Project.
$4,425,000 - Downtown Building Improvements Grant.

Hancock County
$4,575,000 - Restoration, expansion and renovation of the County Courthouse.

Jackson County
$8,000,000 - Construction of a 62,500 square foot County Services Complex.

Long Beach
$6,837,916 - Improvements to Jeff Davis Avenue and other streets in the Downtown area.

Lucedale
$650,000 - Construction of a Downtown Kiosk and Information Center and improvements to a Downtown Park Pavilion.

Moss Point
$6,572,000 - Reconstruction of Main Street, new fire station, riverwalk north and east, marina improvements and a façade grant program.

Ocean Springs
$5,496,800 - Downtown improvements of streetscape improvements to Washington Avenue and Government Streets, construction of a new roof for the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center and revitalization improvements to the City’s Historical Fort Maurepaas Park.

Pascagoula
$4,420,000 - Two economic development projects:  Riverfront Property Acquisition and Redevelopment Project; and Live Oak Avenue Property Redevelopment Project.
$4,580,000 - Front Street Reconnection and Development Project and the Streetscape Project.

Pass Christian
$7,890,230 - Rehabilitation of several downtown streets to restore critical infrastructure.

Picayune
$1,475,912 - New fire station.

Poplarville
$586,000 - New fire station.

Waveland
$6,005,000 - Rebuild and recovery of Coleman Avenue, restoration of an existing building to house a civic center, and construction of a new library and fire station. Roadway improvements.

Planning grants include the following:

Bay St. Louis
$268,000 - Development of an updated Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Regulations, and the preparation of new Architectural Design Standards.

Biloxi
$634,400 - Preparation of an updated Comprehensive Plan and new Subdivision Regulations.  Development of a new Future Land Use Plan and a new Transportation and Community Facilities Plan.

D’Iberville
$370,000 - Development of an updated Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Regulations and preparation of a new Smart Code Ordinance.

Gautier
$470,000 - Preparation of a post Katrina Comprehensive Plan, updated Zoning Ordinance and Map and the preparation of new Subdivision Regulations.

Gulfport
$725,000 - Preparation of a post-Katrina Comprehensive Plan and develop new Subdivision Regulations.

Hancock County
$300,000 - Comprehensive Plan, Updated Zoning Ordinance and Map, Subdivision Regulations and Architectural Design Standards.

Harrison County
$718,000 - New Comprehensive Plan, updated Zoning and Map and updated Subdivision Regulations.

Jackson County
$725,000 - Preparation of an updated Comprehensive Plan and new Subdivision Regulations.

Long Beach
$470,000 - Preparation of a new Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance and Map and Subdivision Regulations, in addition to preparation of Architectural Design and Review Standards.

Moss Point
$275,000 - Update of Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance and Map and Subdivision Regulations, in addition to development of Architectural Design and Review Standards for Downtown Revitalization.

Ocean Springs
$545,000 - Update of Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinances, the calibration of a SmartCode Overlay and the development of a strategic plan for a Railroad District Master Plan.

Pascagoula
$403,000 - Update of Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance and Map and Subdivision Regulations.  Development of Architectural Design and Review Standards, preparation of a Waterfront Master Plan and development of a SmartCode.

Pass Christian
$365,000 - Update of Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance and Map and Subdivision Regulations.  Fringe area study and development of Architectural Design and Review Standards.

Pearl River County
$513,975 - Development of a Comprehensive Smart Growth Plan.

Picayune
$110,000 - Development of an updated Comprehensive Plan and development of a Population Study.

Poplarville
$70,000 - Development of a new Comprehensive Plan and Population Study.

Waveland
$265,000 - Preparation of a new Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance and Map, Subdivision Regulations and Design and Review Standards for the Downtown Area.

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