GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Moving Gulfport forward with new businesses, new projects, and new infrastructure -- those are some of the big issues Mayor Billy Hewes is focusing on as Gulfport heads into the new year. That’s what he told a crowded room Friday morning during his annual business address.
The address, which is hosted each year by Gulfport Chamber of Commerce, was held at Islandview Casino. The mayor, dressed up in construction attire to show how the city’s infrastructure is transitioning.
During his talk, Hewes mentioned the large amount of construction going on throughout the city, including the Aquarium, Centennial Plaza, and road work happening on Courthouse Road.
"We're continuing to push forward," he said. "There's lots of opportunities here in the city of Gulfport. We're just very proud of the folks we have here and the fact that they're helping spur new acknowledgement, a new understanding, and a new excitement in the city. With the aquarium coming online, we're already seeing folks come in and make a commitment We're talking to folks every day about how they can be part of this excitement."
Hewes said he hopes big ticket items like the aquarium and Centennial Plaza will either be completed or close to being completed by this time next year.
Before the mayor addressed the crowd, the city’s police officers and firefighters joined members from the Seabee Base on stage, where they were presented awards for outstanding service throughout 2018. Officer Hannah Hendry was recognized as officer of the year after quickly responding to help an on-duty officer who was involved in an altercation with a suspect.