After a some heated debates, Pascagoula city leaders have decided to tear down the canopy over Delmas Plaza. For thirty years, a wooden canopy has covered the Delmas Plaza in downtown Pascagoula. When air conditioned malls started popping up in the 1960's, the city covered Delmas with a canopy to compete. The Mainstreet organization, which specializes in downtown renovations, says the time for the canopy has come and gone.
City leaders say taking it down will improve the look of the area and improve business. Sav Rex Drug Store owner Paul Clark agrees, "I think it's a good move. The city council is making a decision, and I'm very supportive of it because they are trying to rejuvenate downtown." Rejuvenating downtown has been a goal of the city's two year old Mainstreet program. Still, some see it as a piece of city history. Pascagoula Resident Sharon McQueen "It's been here too long as part of downtown Pascagoula. It's going to ruin downtown Pascagoula. It will never be the same." Word of the canopy's demise was news to the lunch crowd at Sav Rex and most people have an opinion about whether it is the right thing to do. "Bringing down the canopy is definitely an improvement," said Stephen Burrow of Pascagoula. He added, "as long as something is put in it's place that is certainly more ascetically pleasing and would provide the same sort of cover."
Delmas plaza has been the heart of downtown Pascagoula since the Scranton's restaurant was the old city hall and fire station. But the 30 year old canopy is infested with termintes and City Manger Kay Johnson says it must come down, "We understood that some of the controversy was that a lot of people liked being covered from the rain, and we're trying to work out some way where we can have individual canopies on businesses.