Gilich seeks OK for library plans

The city’s Finance Division, which has been housed since Hurricane Katrina in the Old Biloxi Public  Library across from the Half Shell Restaurant on Lameuse Street, will be moving to the third floor of the U.S. Post Office on Main Street under a plan Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich is asking the City Council to approve Tuesday.

If approved, the agreement would allow the city to move forward with a lease the council approved last month to allow the Le Beignet shop and café to move to the second floor of the library, with plans for a steakhouse on the bottom floor of the historic structure.

Gilich has wanted to see the Old Biloxi Public Library return to the tax rolls since he became mayor two years ago.

“What we’re doing is creating a better use for the Old Biloxi Public Library and creating about two dozen jobs in the process,” the mayor said. “As far as the two leases, we’ll be leasing the old library at the appraised market value of about $20 a square foot, and we’ll be paying $9 a square foot over at the Post Office.”

The lease with the Original Beignet Factory, which has operated Le Beignet shop on Rue Magnolia for several years, would allow an option to buy the old library after three years.