Gilich seeks OK for downtown ‘action plan’

The Biloxi City Council will meet at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday instead of 1:30 p.m., and when council members gather they’ll face an agenda that includes measures dealing with a host of long-discussed major issues.

Councilmembers have pushed back the starting time of the meeting by an hour in order to attend the funeral of former Mayor Daniel D. “Danny” Guice, who died last week. His funeral will be at 1 p.m. at the Dr. Frank G. Gruich Community Center on Howard Avenue.

During the 2:30 p.m. meeting, Mayor Andrew ‘FoFo” Gilich will be asking councilmembers to approve a measure to engage South Mississippi Planning and Development District to create an action plan for downtown development that includes the re-opening of Howard Avenue to two-way traffic, an issue the city has discussed for years.

“We’re not looking at spending $50,000 on another study,” Gilich said. “What we’re talking about is a plan of action that will take a number of factors into consideration. Obviously opening up Howard Avenue to two-way traffic is a big one, but it’s more than that. It’s making downtown more walkable in light of MGM Park and the talk of daily Amtrak service. It’s about looking at restoring the facades downtown to the look of old Biloxi, pre-urban development, and it’s about taking a holistic approach in looking at the opportunities and the challenges in the area bounded by I-110, Lee Street, Division Street and U.S. 90.”

The district’s proposal, which will be crafted after public hearings, is due to the city in four months.

In another issue that has been discussed previously, the mayor is asking the City Council to approve the $100,000 purchase of a three-acre site on old Miss. 67 for a fire station to serve east Woolmarket and as a location for a public park.

The agenda also includes a request for the council to approve a right-of-entry agreement that would allow city contractors to work inside the area where the proposed new Keesler main entrance would be located, at the western end of Division Street.

Representatives of Oscar Renda Contracting, the contractor rebuilding the Katrina-damaged infrastructure in east Biloxi, are scheduled to present a status report during the meeting.
See the council agenda and supporting documents


News and notes

Clean up volunteers:  The city and county are asking for volunteers, companies and groups to participate in the Biloxi Great American Clean Up this week with an organized cleanup set for Saturday from  8 a.m. to noon.  For more information, click here

Park renaming:  A ribbon cutting will be held on Saturday for the renaming of the Lopez Park, soon to be called the Clare Sekul Hornsby Biloxi Lions Club Park, from 10 a.m. to noon.  To see the flyer, click here