Gilich gives chamber audience view of future

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich gave his “Breakfast with the Mayor” audience an abbreviated version of the 2½-hour economic development presentation he gave the City Council on Tuesday, but he didn’t abbreviate his enthusiasm.

“When people ask how are things in Biloxi, I think back to what my Aunt Clare Sekul Horsnby used to say,”the mayor declared to the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce audience at the IP Casino Resort. “We’re sitting on ‘G’and waiting on ‘O’.”

Gilich outlined a host of economic development issues, ranging from the promise of a new “Opportunity Zone” program announced by President Trump the other day, to the opportunities that would be created by developing the I-10 exit at Woolmarket and seeing a new neighborhood grocery store, deli and loft apartments developed on city property at Division and Caillavet.

The opportunity zone program, for which Biloxi was the first city in the state to apply, is a program where developers receive “huge tax benefits on investments in low- to moderate-income areas. On one hand,” Gilich said, “you might say it’s not good that we have low- to moderate income areas, but on the other hand, Biloxi offers more promise of success than anywhere else.”

The audience of 150 applauded at the mayor’s announcement that a construction contract had been awarded for a 180-day project to two-lane the downtown portion of Howard Avenue.

“Just the talk of this project has generated interest among developers in downtown Biloxi,” Gilich said. “I can tell you that the Barq Building is now under contract, and, without releasing too many details, I can tell you we are close to issuing a demolition permit for the old federal courthouse – which some people thought looked more like a federal prison. Things are happening.”

Gilich also recognized Keesler leaders in the audience and said the city is in the process of awarding a construction contract for the first segment of the new Division Street gate at Keesler, from Forest Avenue westward, and the mayor outlined a vision to see restaurants and other amenities constructed on vacant Point Cadet land owned by the city and state, east of the Golden Nugget casino.
Gallery: Photos from Breakfast with the Mayor
See the mayor’s presentation
City Desk: So how much of this is going to happen?


News and notes: B-Alert, holiday closing, city council, weekend preview

Deadly accident: Back-to-back traffic accidents shut down all lanes of I-110 this morning, and a person died in the second mishahp. Subscribers to the city’s B-Alert program got a preview of the city’s notification program with real-time traffic advisories. Sign up now by texting SPBK to 888777.

Good Friday holiday: All non-emergency municipal offices in Biloxi be closed on Friday in observance of Good Friday.

City Council:  The next scheduled meeting of the Biloxi City Council is set for Tuesday, April 3 at 6 p.m. at Biloxi City Hall.  To see the complete agenda and supporting documents, click here

Weekend preview: The Biloxi Parks & Recreation Department will host a ribbon cutting on Saturday for the Pickleball courts at Popp’s Ferry, across from the Margaret Sherry Library.  Phillip Phillips will be at the Hard Rock, County Unplugged will be at the IP.  To see a complete weekend line up, click here.