Biloxi is well-known for its casino resort industry, but Mayor A.J. Holloway used his State of the City address today to remind people that there's a whole lot more to the city.
The mayor, speaking to a sold-out crowd at his 20th State of the City address, said Biloxi welcomed 234 new businesses last year 16 in downtown Biloxi alone and he outlined a host of public improvement projects in all areas of the city.
Said Holloway at the outset of his 30-minute presentation: "Our story is one of milestones. We have a milestone large or small each and every day."
The mayor gave timelines for the city's $355 million infrastructure program, planned improvements on Popp's Ferry Road, Popp's Ferry causeway park, Biloxi waterfront park, the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, Lighthouse Park, and the improvements at the city's marinas, piers and boat ramps.
He spoke about the myriad events at the Biloxi Visitors Center and Biloxi Civic Center, and the more than 112,000 people who have visited the Biloxi Public Library since its opening 18 months ago. He spoke about achievements at Keesler, Biloxi Public Schools, Coast Transit and the Biloxi Housing Authority. He spoke about the city's popular special events, and praised the organizers of Beauvoir for introducing the Christmas at Beauvoir celebration this past holiday season.
The mayor even addressed the issue of annexation: past, present and ongoing.
But in the end, Holloway returned to a familiar theme, paying tribute to the people of Biloxi. "I go back to what I have said time and again," Holloway said in his closing remarks. "Its the people. The people make Biloxi the special place that it is. The colorful, the out-going, the hard-working, the caring and the compassionate. I am proud to be one of you. I am proud to be your Mayor, each and every day."
See the video: To see the video presentation,
The pictures: To see pictures from today's luncheon, click here.
Read the speech: To read the text of Mayor Holloway's prepared remarks, click here.
The new businesses: To see the list of 234 new businesses, click here.
See it on TV: CableOne will carry a replay of the mayor's speech on Tuesday at noon, 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Cable 19 in Biloxi.