Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols introduced three Biloxi city staffers to present reports for the Breakfast with the Mayor session on July 24, 2013. The Biloxi Chamber-sponsored event was presented at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Mayor Holloway, meantime, was in Washington, D.C. for meetings with the the state's legislative delegation.
Here are the highlights of the reports given this morning.
Joe Boney: Creating a Biloxi Fire Department that is worth celebrating
Here are the speaking points from the remarks by Fire Chief Joe Boney during this morning's Breakfast with the Mayor:
--- History of department
---This year's fireman's parade will be Sept. 21 in Downtown Biloxi, ending with a celebration at the Town Green.
--- It is my goal to provide the City of Biloxi with a Fire Department that is worth celebrating, a department that is accessible, well-trained, and professional; a department that is unified and respected, and that will provide the highest quality of service to its citizens.
---This can be accomplished by:
--- providing firefighters with the tools needed to perform their jobs such as training and equipment;
--- by working with businesses and the community in the area of Fire Prevention to ensure that proper precaution is in place to minimize their risk.
--- and by building a presence in the community that lets our citizens know that we are here to serve and protect.
--- Thank you for your time and the honor of serving the City of Biloxi.
Infrastructure work: $20 to $25 million more on the street in next few weeks
Here is a recap of the comments made by Marvin G. Dalla Rosa, manager of HNTB, the firm overseeing the city's $355 million infrastructure repair program, known as Restore Biloxi. (Abbreviations used in text are NOB for North Biloxi; RDN for Rodenberg North; HOS for Hospital; EPT for Eagle Point; and BVE for Buena Vista East.
--- Ongoing and completed work: $32 million
--- Work to be on the street within the next 6 to 8 weeks - NOB2, 4, 5 & 6 (as a group) and EPT1: Estimated at $10 -$12 million each.
--- Commercial Harbor (near Hard Rock, part of Buena Vista East Project): Construction is complete. Project has been closed out.
--- 5th Street (near Margaritaville): Construction is complete. Contractor is completing final documents and preparing for final close out.
--- NOB1: Construction is complete. Contractor is completing final documents and preparing for final close out.
Soon to be completed:
--- NOB3: All water, sewer and storm drains are complete. The base asphalt is complete and preparing for final asphalt. Project is estimated for completion in September.
--- RDN2: Final punch list has been issued to the contractor. Final documents are expected by the end of August. Project is estimated for close out in September.
--- RDN3: Final punch list has been issued to the contractor. Final documents are expected by the end of August. Project is estimated to close out in September.
---- RDN4: All water, sewer and storm drains are complete. The base asphalt is 90% complete. Once base asphalt is complete the contractor will prepare for final asphalt layer. Contractor is to complete work around Jeff Davis Elementary before school starts. Project remains on schedule.
--- HOS: Kensington and Hospital pump station work is ongoing. The water main from Tremont to the north end of Kensington is complete. The contractor is placing new storm drain on Beverly and Arlington Drive. Project remains on schedule.
--- RDN1: Contractor has mobilized to begin work Notice to Proceed was July 7, 2013. Project remains on schedule.
--- 6th Street Pump Station: Project work was temporarily suspended while debris (probably from Hurricane Camille) was tested for contaminants. Results came in last week and were negative. Construction is scheduled to re-start this week.
Coming up (with estimated value):
--- Out-of-phase pump stations ($1.8 million) final design modifications underway. Project should be advertised in early fall.
--- North Contract (north of RR, from Point Cadet to I-110) ($110-$130 million) phase designs essentially complete awaiting CSX Railroad permit approvals. Projected advertising date is this fall.
--- South Contract (south of RR from Point Cadet to I-110) ($85 - $95 million) phase designs in final reviews awaiting CSX Railroad permit approvals. Projected advertising date late fall.
--- West Contract (west from I-110 to DeBuys along Hwy. 90 ($30 million) designs wrapping up. Easement acquisition(s) along Hwy. 90 are in process and must be completed before construction can move forward.
Kay Carter: Main Street is all about downtown development
Here are the remarks from Kay Carter, downtown services manager, who also represents Biloxi Main Street:
--- Biloxi Main Street is going on 23 years in downtown Biloxi. Main Street is a national organization, with 52 groups in the state. Biloxi Main Streets focus is to revitalize downtown and make it viable through Promotion, Design and Economic Development. The Main Street district covers Porter Avenue to Bellman Street.
Main Streets Promotions:
--- Main Street Movie night we just had the summer movie on the Town Green this past Friday night. We featured "The Sand Lot" movie, in support of Baseball downtown. The next movie will be Oct. 26 at Halloween on the Green.
--- We sponsor Finally First Friday from 5 to 8 in the Arts District every First Friday of each month.
--- We coordinate several festivals. New this year to go along with Cruisin' the Coast Downtown Biloxi Block Party will be an Art Walk.
--- Also new this year, Veterans Day Festival (Red White and Blue on the Green), along with Christmas in the City and Grillin' on the Green, Go Green on the Green in April along with Great American Clean up, and the Farmers Market Festival, with our next one on Sept. 26 and Oct. 24.
--- We also help with the Old Biloxi Cemetery Tour in October; we are going to feature two tours this year, one on Oct. 22 and one on Oct. 29, so mark your calendars.
--- In support of
eco-tourism, we support Bike Biloxi, in which every third Tuesday of the month a bike ride throughout downtown, ending at a downtown restaurant.
--- Our longest-running and best-known promotion is our Christmas Ornament collectible series. 2013 will be our 17th of the series.
We do these events to breathe life back into Downtown Biloxi, and it is vitally important for everyone to support and attend these events.
Downtown video, business grants
--- Design committee worked with CTA on the Rue Magnolia Bus Stop, and also helped to make and put video on CTA Trolley. It's a four-minute informational video about all the businesses downtown. We also helped getting banners around downtown.
--- The Design and the Economic Development committee work closely together.
Most recently conducted an Investor Summit and was responsible for putting together a book that shows vacant properties around downtown.
--- BMS has given $17,000 in new business grants and $40,000 to eight businesses in facade grants, just within the past two years. We have spent over $10,000 on advertising efforts of events and downtown businesses. These grants represent Main Street's investment and commitment in Downtown Biloxi.
Bring on baseball
--- Biloxi Main Street is a strong supporter of the Baseball field coming to downtown, it would create vitality downtown which in turn which would spark Economic Growth. Other Southern cities have tested this theory of baseball in a downtown area and proven its economic value.
We are all about downtown
Who is Biloxi Main Street? It is me and you and anyone that cares about Downtown Biloxi. Membership party on August 20 at the Biloxi Visitor Center. We would love to invite you to attend!