PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - The senate has passed an appropriations bill that will pay for upgrades to Pascagoula's beachfront. It would include lighting, a walking path, and an extra layer of storm protection.
Senator Roger Wicker's office said the House and Senate still have to agree on the proposed dollar amount in the bill before final approval.
Tina Ladnier and Kevin Taylor like visiting Pascagoula's beach, but admit improvements are needed here.
"It definitely can be developed more," Jackson County resident Tina Ladnier said.
Tommy Dorsey said his main problem with the beach is the pedestrian path. He feels it's too close to the road, which can be very dangerous.
"Getting your exercise down here at the beach, there is no buffer zone between yourself and the traffic," Dorsey said.
"The beach is lacking in the sense of it's not aesthetically pleasing," Pascagoula Councilman Frank Corder said.
Councilman Corder said that's why he and several city leaders traveled to Washington in March to ask for federal funding for a beatification project.
"This money is for a promenade. After the storm, the Governor's Commission and Renaissance Commission, here in Pascagoula, we thought the promenade would enhance our beach."
He said the Senate has approved $500,000 for the promenade.
"Senator Wicker now has to pass it along from the Senate to the House. The House has to reconcile, which means they have to come to some agreement with that through Congress."
Corder said the plan is to build the promenade south of Beach Boulevard.
"We will have a nice walking path, about six to eight feet wide. You will have lights, and you will have greenery."
City leaders say this future promenade will also be an extra defense for nearby homes and businesses in the event of a tidal surge
"The pilings that are put forth in this promenade project, it will be done so it will break up the water as it comes through."
Pascagoula citizens and leaders are hoping the federal dollars will pour in soon to help improve the beach's look.
Councilman Corder said the funding will come from the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill. He said the total cost of the promenade project is $2.5 million. The city has applied for several grants to get the rest of the funding.