Biloxi Mayor's Address Touts Progress And Prosperity

A man with close ties to Keesler Air Force will serve as a liaison between the City of Biloxi, the community and the Air Force during the next round of base closure talks. During his state of the city address Thursday, Mayor A.J. Holloway announced retired Air Force General Clark Griffith will closely monitor the talks.

Griffith says the most important part of his new job will be to make sure a concerted effort is made to keep Keesler off any hit lists. He says that will mean keeping the lines of communication open between everyone involved in the talks.

"And to make sure that the people who are talking, when they say something that concerns Keesler and Biloxi that it's the truth, that we're not putting out some information that makes it sound like that the base and the city are at odds with one another," says Griffith.

The next base closure hearings are in 2005.

Mayor Holloway also shared encouraging news about Bayview Avenue and Popps Ferry Road widening. Despite delays by tropical storms, both of those projects are ahead of schedule. The mayor says part of Bayview will open March 15th, 10 months after work started.

Also, Popps Ferry from Cedar Lake to Jam Lane will open in June, two months ahead of schedule. The mayor says the city's construction manager deserves much of the credit for the speedy work.

"Frankly this construction management program is working so well that we are considering combining the next two phases of Popps Ferry, from the causeway, to the Margaret Sherry Library and from the library to Jam Lane, into one phase and beginning work as soon as possible," the mayor says.

Holloway says it's possible combining the phases of work will save time and money.