City may sell vacant Magnolia Hotel

The Magnolia Hotel, which has been called “the oldest tangible reminder of the early days of the resort industry in Biloxi, and, as such, one of the most historic buildings on the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” is going back on the tax rolls.

The city, which has leased the vacant three-story wood-frame structure to a developer for more than a year, would sell the 1847-built structure to the developer, Jourdan Nicaud, under a plan being proposed by Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich.

The measure is one of more than two dozen items on the agenda for the City Council meeting on Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 at City Hall. Several land-use and zoning issues also are on the agenda, as well as measures dealing with on-going infrastructure work.

Nicaud, who operates several restaurants in Biloxi and on the Gulf Coast, has notified the city of his plans to exercise his option to buy the property, which Gilich on Tuesday is asking the City Council to declare as surplus city property. Purchase price, which is based on two appraisals: $800,000.

The former hotel, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, had served as the Mardi Gras Museum before Hurricane Katrina. Its listing on the National Register will ensure that its architectural and cultural significance will be maintained, Gilich said.

The Magnolia, according to the city publication “Buildings of Biloxi,” operated as a hotel until World War II, when it became a home. It had been located along the beachfront, about 150 yards south of its current location until severely damaged by Hurricane Camille in 1969. It was moved to its current location, on Rue Magnolia just west of Mary Mahoney’s Old French House Restaurant, by a group of citizens, led by banker Glenn L. Swetman, who raised money to save it after Camille.
Read the history of the Magnolia Hotel
See the council meeting agenda and supporting documents

City recognizes third quarter longevity recipients

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich, on Tuesday, recognized 36 employees for their years of service during a longevity awards presentation.

40 years of service: Marilyn King, Community Development Department

30 years of service: Stacy Thacker, Administration Department; Brian Thacker, Parks and Recreation Department; and Lyonel Hodge, Public Works Department

25 years of service: Michael Wills, Police Department assistant chief

20 years of service:Shane Breland, Fire Department

15 years of service: Richard Fortinberry, Daniel Misko, Scott Richardson, Larry Sablich, Thomas Saucier, Henry Thensted III, and Dirk Thompson, Administration (Port); William Raymond Jr., Community Development; Mathew Bigelow, Nicholaus Geiser, Joseph Gunter, Richard McLeod, Kyle McNeil, and Curtis Ziegler, Fire Department; Elbert Meaut, Parks and Recreation Department; Donna Newsome, Police Department; and Murphy Chataginer Jr. and Jerry Yarborought Sr., Public Works Department

10 years of service: John Lamb and Steve Rocha, Police Department

5 years of service: Matthew Boone, Justin Branning, Todre Clopton, Jeffrey Duffield, Christopher Keckler, Marlin Ladner Jr., John Majure Jr., William Payne, and Shane Steele, Police Department; and Jerrilyn Wescovich, Public Works Department. The mayor presents longevity awards quarterly at a Biloxi City Council meeting.
See a photos from the council meeting

News and notes: Weekly report, conference, photos

The week that was: Last week, the Fire Department answered 149 calls for service, including 102 medical emergencies and three fires; the Police Department handled 1,884 calls for service; the Community Development Department issued 53 building permits with a construction valuation of more than $25,000; and the Engineering Department continued to progress on projects throughout the city.  To see the reports covering last week, click here

Conference in town: The Mississippi Recreation and Parks Association is holding its annual conference this week in Biloxi at the IP. Over 200 parks and recreation professionals from across the state are in attendance. Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich will present a welcome to the group on Tuesday morning and a social and fireworks show will take place at the Biloxi Town Green in the evening.

Photo gallery No. 1: The 2nd Annual Guns & Hoses Charity Pickleball Tournament took place on Saturday at the Popp’s Ferry Recreational Area with 96 players competing, including many Biloxi Police and Fire Department employees as well as Chief Administrative Officer Michael Leonard. To see some photos from the event, click here.

Photo gallery No. 2: The Biloxi Parks & Recreation Department held its annual Fishing for Catfish Kids Day on Saturday at the Hiller Park Pond. To see photos from the event, click here.