PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Downtown Pascagoula is getting a $2.5 million makeover. City leaders said federal dollars will pay for a four phase streetscape project.
"We need to invest in our downtown and our businesses," Pascagoula's Program Manager Jaci Turner said.
Turner told a crowd of business owners and city leaders if they want to see downtown progress, it needs a more modern look and feel.
"It is just old, and you see it all over the world. You see downtowns tend to be the older parts of town, and over time things get deteriorated," Turner said.
Operations Manager Steve Mitchell couldn't agree more. He said it's time for a transformation.
"We got to make the repairs; I don't see any other way around it," Mitchell said.
Thanks to funds from the Governor's Revitalization Program, every street in the downtown district will be improved. City officials said the redevelopment plan includes more family friendly amenities and landscaping. The first phase is just about complete.
"We started on Jackson Avenue between Market and Pascagoula Street. It had streetscape elements, which were trees, and brick pavers, and crosswalks, and sidewalks that are going up. Very soon, you are going to see decorative lighting fixtures and everything going in."
The city is also upgrading water lines as part of the improvement project.
"We can improve the safety and water supply to that area."
This makeover sounds good to Michael Colborn because he is opening a coffee shop on Delmas Avenue. He said business owners will see major profits from the city's investment.
"My core customers are still going to be the downtown traffic," Colburn said. "If, in the future, we get tourism and everything else, it's going to be the icing on the cake."
That's a sweet treat the city and businesses are anticipating.
Turner said the city is working with business owners on a start date for the second phase of the project. The city will have to temporarily close some streets during that construction.