Council to get Update on Downtown Efforts

From:  City of Biloxi   6/16/17   GCN

Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich will update the City Council next week on the status of the city's downtown restoration efforts.

The downtown meeting will be Tuesday at 11 a.m. with the regular meeting of the Biloxi City Council scheduled for 1:30 Tuesday afternoon.

Although the morning meeting is open to the public, the primary purpose of the gathering is for members of the City Council to give feedback on the next steps in the fourth-month process, which began April 17, when the city hired Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District to create an action plan for downtown development that includes the re-opening of Howard Avenue to two-way traffic, an issue the city has discussed for years.

"We're not looking at spending $50,000 on another study," Gilich said at the time. "What we're talking about is a plan of action that will take a number of factors into consideration.

"Obviously opening up Howard Avenue to two-way traffic is a big one, but it's more than that. It's making downtown more walkable in light of MGM Park and the talk of daily Amtrak service. It's about looking at restoring the facades downtown to the look of old Biloxi, pre-urban development, and it's about taking a holistic approach in looking at the opportunities and the challenges in the area bounded by I-110, Lee Street, Division Street and U.S. 90."

A public hearing will be scheduled in several weeks to get public feedback on the plan before it is finalized.During its afternoon meeting, Gilich will be asking the council to approve a $220,000 contract to construct a pier at Point Cadet for a Ship Island ferry service, and councilmembers will consider a request to add a one-time 13th paid holiday for city employees, on July 3, the Monday before the Fourth of July. The council had asked last week that the measure be tabled.

See the downtown agreement with SMPDD
See the agendas for Tuesday meetings
See photos of old Downtown Biloxi