Moss Point Recovery Commission Seeks Public Input - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Moss Point Recovery Commission Seeks Public Input

Plans are being finalized for the redevelopment of Moss Point's Downtown and your ideas are needed. Come help shape the future of your city at the first of six ward meetings starting Thursday, July 20, 2006 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Midtown Center on 6025 Grierson Street.

The Moss Point Commission for Recovery, Rebuilding, and Renewal, with support from the city's Aldermen and Mayor, will present the draft in each ward to gain public input.

Commission Chairman Stephen Renfroe emphasizes that downtown renewal is just the starting point for the work of the Commission.

"Downtown is a highly visible symbol of our city. It has great potential for economic development and job creation, and it can serve as common ground for all citizens of our community. At the same time, we want to identify priority projects in other wards throughout our city. It is important that we provide an opportunity for our neighbors to offer their ideas and vision for Moss Point."

The renewal of the downtown area, along with other key locations around the city, is an exciting endeavor that Moss Point's Mayor, Xavier Bishop supports.

"We are looking to shape the entire city into a walking community with parks, shopping, and restaurants in key locations throughout the city," said Bishop. "Downtown is a natural place to start when considering the city owns most of the downtown waterfront property and the necessity to relocate government buildings flooded by Hurricane Katrina. It makes economic sense to focus redevelopment there."

The purpose of the Moss Point Commission is to build on the foundation set by the Governor's Commission for Recovery, Rebuilding, and Renewal last year.

That foundation has allowed the Moss Point Commission the unprecedented opportunity to work with HOK Planning's Steve Schukraft, who served on the original Governor's Commission, to draft an expanded and more detailed downtown plan. With this downtown plan, Moss Point has gained an extraordinary opportunity to redevelop the entire city.

The Commission's Community Relations Chairperson Monica Cooper-Battle urges everyone in Moss Point to attend one of these meetings and get involved.

"We have been given an unprecedented opportunity to shape the future of Moss Point and we're reaching out to our communities for citizen comment and input," said Cooper-Battle. "The support of the Foundation for the Mid-South through the Institute for Compatible Development has made the ward meetings possible and the Commission is looking forward to hearing form the citizens of Moss Point."

Background

The Moss Point Commission began in October 2005 with a joint initiative by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development division and Mark Miller, Professor of Economic Development and Geography at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Linda Holden, with Moss Point's Institute for Compatible Development, also provided local support by working with the Foundation for the Mid-South to gain the grant needed to host the seven ward meetings.

A diverse group of citizens, together with city Aldermen and Mayor Xavier Bishop, participated in a series of meetings that led to the creation of the Moss Point Commission.

The Plan

The Commission's draft plan consists of a proposal for relocating public buildings such as City Hall, which was flooded by Hurricane Katrina.

The commission also proposes that Moss Point adopt Smart Codes that have been customized for downtown and will prescribe certain building design standards and allow for co-location of both residential and commercial development.

Finally, the Commission is recommending changes in streets and traffic flow to make downtown more pedestrian-friendly.

Path Forward

Following the public meetings, the Commission will finalize its plan and present it to the Moss Point Board of Aldermen for review and consideration. The City will be able to use the plan to attract public and private funding.

Based on input from the community, the Commission will then work on redevelopment opportunities in other key areas around the City.

Moss Point Community Meetings - 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Ward 1 - Thursday, July 20th
Alderman Lonnie Molden
Midtown Center - 6025 Grierson Street

Ward II - Thursday, July 27th
Alderman James Smith
St. Joseph's Catholic Church - 4114 1st Street

Ward III - Thursday, August 3rd
Alderwoman Nancy Mims Norvel
Jackson County Civic Action Building - 5343 Jefferson Street

Ward IV - Thursday, August 10th
Alderman Michael "Shorty" Middleton
Tiger Town - 4331 Jackson Street

Ward V - Thursday, August 17th
Alderman Tommy Hightower
Escatawpa Community Center - Jamestown Road

Ward VI - Thursday, August 24th
Alderman Al Bodden
Moss Point High School Auditorium

City-wide - Tuesday, August 29th
Community Wrap-up Meeting and Hurricane Katrina Anniversary Observance
Aneice Liddell, Alderwoman-at-Large
Pelican Landing, Highway 613

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