Gilich welcomes new Point Cadet agreement

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich is hailing Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann for a new agreement that in the past several weeks has seen the city receive more than half of the rent due from a Point Cadet casino lease with a plan for monthly payments to begin Oct. 1 with the new fiscal year.

The city has now received $2.6 million of its share of rent that the Golden Nugget casino had paid to the Secretary of State for the term that ended July 31, 2016, and the settlement calls for the city to receive the remaining $606,000 due to the city when Legislature convenes in January. The city has sought to recoup Point Cadet casino rent money that the state had inadvertently moved into its general fund.

“The good news is that Secretary Hosemann has remitted to the city all of the money that was under his control, and we appreciate that,” Gilich said. “And the great news is that we’ll be receiving monthly rent payments moving forward.”

Gilich will be asking the Biloxi City Council to ratify the agreement on Tuesday during the City Council meeting.

The rent is for four acres of property that the city owns at Point Cadet, the site of the Golden Nugget casino. In the late ’80s, under then-Mayor Gerald Blessey, the city spent $2.8 million in federal grant funds to purchase the land at the easternmost tip of Point Cadet, which, after a brief stint of hosting the Europa Star cruise vessel, became a premier casino and development site when dockside gaming was legalized in 1992. In fact, the location was the site of the first dockside gaming in Mississippi, with the opening of the Isle of Capri, which was eventually purchased by the Golden Nugget.

The rent agreement, which nets the city about $3.2 million a year in rent payments, also includes payments to the state Institutions of Higher Learning, which had operated the J.L. Scott Marine Education Center at the site, and the Secretary of State-managed Tidelands Trust Fund, for the state’s property interests at the site.

“It’s a rent agreement that has evolved over the years, especially with the growth we’ve seen at the site,” Gilich said, “but the fact is, the original investment that the city made in buying this land in 1980s continues to pay dividends for the city. Our goal is to make sure we protect our interests there, and we certainly appreciate the cooperation of our state partners.”
See the Point Cadet settlement proposal
See the complete City Council agenda

 

Podcast: A double feature of huge issues

Mayors Andrew “FoFo” Gilich of Biloxi and Billy Hewes of Gulfport have been working with their colleagues and other elected leaders from across the Coast to build consensus for a plan that would see real, measurable economic benefits from the $750 million in BP economic damages money.

And, remember, you heard it here: June 2018 is the expected completion date for the infrastructure work in east Biloxi north of the CSX railway. That’s the word from Walt Rode, who was appointed by Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich 14 months ago to oversee the infrastructure work. Rode also sets timetables for upcoming paving work and when you can expect to see the city move forward on work south of the railway.

It’s a 25-minute program and was taped this morning at Biloxi City Hall.
Listen to the City Desk podcast

 

News and notes

A class act: The Biloxi High Class of 1966 will be celebrating its 50th reunion Oct. 21- 23. Organizers are looking for classmates, which include all Biloxi High, Sacred Heart and Notre Dame guests. Contact Mike Todaro at 251-533-4094 or Diane Hoover Sicuro at 228-861-3925 for information.

TV time: Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney and Biloxi Police Sgt. Harold “Butch” Windom will be on “Good Morning Mississippi” Friday morning to discuss, respectively, ¬†the monthlong fire prevention campaign and¬†the Community Festival Against Crime on Saturday. Barring any scheduling changes, Boney is scheduled to appear around¬†5:35 and 6:35 a.m., while Windom appears around 6:05 and 6:45 a.m.