The Mississippi Development Authority has teamed up with the Bay St. Louis Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) to offer a free workshop in the city on Friday, December 9th, from 9:30am – 2:45pm. The event will be held at the Bay St. Louis library, 312 Hwy. 90 and includes a catered lunch by Trapani’s Eatery.
The workshop, “The Bay St. Louis Historic District: Community Asset + Economic Driver” will feature a roster of five speakers, all well known throughout the state for their expertise in historic preservation, city planning and economic development.
The workshop is limited to 40 people and as of press time December 5th, only 15 slots were still available. Attendees can register at www.historicbsl.com . Continuing education credits are available for municipal officials and architects.
Organizers say that the information presented will be of special interest to city, county and tourism officials, real estate and design professionals, developers and business leaders who will learn how preserving the Bay’s heritage for future generations also stimulates the local economy.
Workshop leaders will be Ken P’Pool and Todd Sandars from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Roy Decker, Duvall Decker Architects, Donovan Scruggs, City Planner for Pascagoula and Kay Miller, Biloxi Main Street Association.
Topics covered are “Zoning and Planning Make a Big Difference,” “The Importance of Historic Preservation and Preservation Commissions,” “Historic Preservation Commercial Tax Credits,” and “Main Street, A ReFreshed Approach.”
Bay St. Louis HPC chairman Kevin Fitzpatrick says, “We will all need this knowledge in the days ahead. The city is fortunate that MDA has provided this opportunity to learn. We’re hoping business and civic leaders will take advantage of the workshop. And the timing’s perfect since the city elections are in 2017. Both incumbents and candidates who will be running for office will be able to attend.”
HPC member Ellis Anderson agrees. “Our city is on the cusp of a tremendous growth spurt, so we all need to be on the same page,” she said. “While these are exciting times, we have to be very careful we don’t kill the goose that's laid the golden egg.
“We’re all aware that the Bay's main draw as a place to live - and as a visitor destination - is its “Mayberry by the Sea” sort of charm. Our Historic District is the heart of that. If we're smart, we can leverage that community character by protecting it. That way, we prosper while keeping our heritage and quality of life intact for future generations."
The workshop is sponsored by Mississippi Development Authority – which organized the program and is covering workshop costs - the Bay St. Louis Preservation Commission, the Hancock Chamber and the Bay St. Louis Heritage Trust, which is providing lunch at no cost to participants.
For complete information and to register online now, go to: www.historicbsl.com
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