City receives $9 million for infrastructure work

U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) today announced that the City of Biloxi is receiving a $9 million federal grant to reimburse the city for utility easements that are being purchased across front beach property to make way for new water and sewer lines and improved drainage.

The city has already bought more than 200 of the necessary 250 easements, which will create an underground utility corridor north of U.S. 90 from Point Cadet to DeBuys Road. The utility work, which requires easements generally of 5 to 25 feet, has already been completed at MGM Park and the Biloxi Visitors Center, but the bulk of the work will be part of the pending contracts to be let for east and west Biloxi along the beachfront.

The actual grant of $8.95 million, known as a Public Assistance grant, is being awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. No state or local matching funds are required with this award.

“This is great news for our infrastructure work,” Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich said, “and I want to thank Senator Wicker and Senator Cochran and¬†their staff for moving this grant forward.”

Said Cochran: “Biloxi will be able to use these funds to improve its water and wastewater systems to withstand future storms.”

Added Wicker: “This FEMA grant offers critical funding to Biloxi to make infrastructure upgrades in preparation for future storms. Local residents will benefit from these improvements and the community will be stronger and better equipped in the long run.”

FEMA Public Assistance grants provide supplemental disaster assistance to state, local and tribal governments and some nonprofit organizations for debris removal and emergency protective measures.  These grants can also fund the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly-owned facilities.


Museum offers schooner rides for Blessing

The Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum is offering individuals a chance to ride aboard the Biloxi schooner “Glenn L. Swetman” for the Blessing of the Fleet on Sunday.

Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased by calling the museum before Saturday or at the pier on Sunday.  However, tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

The schooner will depart at 12:30 p.m. from the Schooner Pier Complex, 367 Beach Blvd., and go sailing, returning in time for the 2 p.m. Blessing.  The schooner will return to pier at 3 p.m.

Those traveling aboard the schooner may bring their own food and refreshments.  Ice chests and ice will be provided.

Call 228-435-6320.


News and notes

The Week That Was: To see the details of last week’s activities in the city departments of Fire, Police and Community Development, along with an archive of weekly reports,¬†click here.

Preservation bonus event: This week the Preservation in May series holds a bonus event at the St. Michael Catholic Church with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Emma Harvey, a Biloxi shrimp boat last when a hurricane hit the Coast with no warning.  To see more information, click here.

Hornsby appointment: Harrison County Supervisor Beverly Martin has appointed Gulf Coast tourism authority Linda Hornsby to the Mississippi Coast Coliseum Commission.

Council schedule: The next scheduled meeting of the Biloxi City Council will be Tuesday, June 7 at 6 p.m.

Bingo Night: The Friends of Hiller Park holds another Bingo Night fundraiser on Sunday  at 1 p.m. at the Biloxi Elks Lodge on U.S. 90.  Players must be must be at least 18 years old.  To see more information, click here.