Councilman-at-Large Gary Knoblock reports highlights of the Bay St. Louis city council meeting July 7, including details on grants to ready the depot for rail travelers, to build a new police complex and to revitalize the Depot District.
The Bay St. Louis City Council met on Tuesday [July 7] and it was a very productive meeting. First, Myrna Green, the director of the Hancock County Tourism announced that the city was awarded a 100k grant for improvements at the Depot train platform.
This is a 50/25/25 match grant. The city and county each puts up 25k each and the Rail Commission provides 50k. This will fund ADA improvements, parking lot repairs, construction of a new canopy on the rail side, and other improvements.
All Planning and Zoning recommendations were passed.
The council voted to extend two emergency declarations to August 15 - the Covid-19 and TS Cristobal declarations. Keep in mind that if you have any debris put it out on the street. We received reimbursed for up to two passes through the city for debris pick-up.
As most know, the city received two major grants from the state legislature last week. First, the city will receive $1 million to build a new police complex. The current police building is uninhabitable because of black mold. The current building is out for bid to be torn down. Bids should be coming to council in the coming weeks.
The second grant of $1.5 million is to revitalize the Depot District. State Rep. Brent Anderson and Senator Philip Moran were scheduled to talk on both grants, however were unable to make the meeting. Councilman Reed asked to form a committee of citizens and professionals to discuss options for the area.
I want to thank the council and the mayor's office for all the hard work that went into getting these grants. By working together we were able to bring $2.5 million in BP funds to our city. This is a 80/20 match and a big win for the city! As a result, we passed a motion authorizing advertisements for engineering and architectural services for the depot and police department projects.
Council voted to use funds from the sale of the Garden Center for the new police department complex, once the center is sold.
Council voted to reinstate 25K dollars to help fund a splash pad for MLK park. These funds were taken out of the budget earlier when the Covid crisis started.
Council approved the use of $40,000 dollars from the Road & Bridge Fund to mill a number of streets in Ward 6. Councilman Desalvo expressed that the roads were very rocky and needed emergency milling. This will shore up the road bases along Lagan Street.
We have an upcoming special election concerning franchise fees. I will post more on this issue very soon.
As always, if you have any questions, please contact me.