Gilich seeks agreement on east Biloxi roadway, funding

The city is willing to move forward with completing an east Biloxi traffic loop with a wider Pine Street to link Back Bay Boulevard with Point Cadet, but only after half the expected $22 million price tag is in place.

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich on Tuesday will ask the City Council for approval to enter into an agreement where the city would proceed with the project only after the state has committed $5 million in already promised money, and a developer hands over $7 million and donated rights-of-way to help with construction.

The so-called “Pine Street extension” project is one of 35 measures on the agenda for the City Council meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Biloxi City Hall. More than two-dozen code-enforcement cases also will be brought before the City Council.

The new-and-improved Pine Street would help casino-resort developers Biloxi Boardwalk Ventures move forward with their project, a $260 million casino resort that is expected to create 2,000 jobs and generate $4 million a year in gaming taxes to the city.

Under the terms of the proposed agreement, the Mississippi Gaming Commission would have to approve the site and developer and the developer would contribute the $7 million and rights-of-way to the city for construction, as well as provide engineering plans and cost estimates for the roadway.

For its part, the city would be responsible for about $9 million of the cost of the $22 million roadway, and would grant the developer a 100 percent property tax abatement for seven years, excluding school and county taxes.

“We certainly want to light up this site and the Pine Street corridor with commercial activity, jobs and entertainment,” Gilich said, “but we’re going to make sure that all of the funding is in place from all of the parties involved.

“This traffic loop has been talked about for years, and this would make it happen, and, at the same time, we’d be leveraging our local funds.”
See the City Council agenda and supporting documents