PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - It is a significant step in the ongoing recovery of Pass Christian. City leaders and residents gathered for a ground breaking in War Memorial Park Monday afternoon.
They're celebrating the start of a $10 million project that will revitalize the downtown. The work will involve new streets and sidewalks, new water and sewer lines, plus lighting and landscaping.
"This is a day in which $10.6 million is fixing to go in this area right here," Mayor Chipper McDermott said, as he prepared to break ground on the revitalization projects.
Flanked by MEMA and MDA representatives, the Pass Christian mayor proudly announced the project which will revitalize downtown.
The heart of the Pass business district will be getting new streets and sidewalks, along with water and sewer lines.
"It's going to really be a nice, big project. The bulk of that will be between Market and Davis where the businesses were. And that's the purpose of this grant, to bring people back to the downtown area," Mayor McDermott said.
A combination of FEMA funds and Community Development Block Grant dollars will pay for the construction.
Pat Cattrell is with the Mississippi Development Authority.
"And thank goodness for the locals, for what MDA has added to it, for what FEMA and MEMA have added, or we wouldn't be nearly where we are in this process," she said, during the brief ceremony.
Residents can expect more detour signs during the construction; the necessary inconvenience that comes with progress.
Good friends and longtime Pass Christian residents, Jack Lang and Mary Catherine Ward, were among the residents who witnessed this next step of storm recovery history.
"To see what's going on. All this new things that are happening. Really good for the city you know," Mr. Lang said.
"Great, great. Always appreciate everything that's happening. I think they're doing a nice job," Mary Catherine Ward said.
The mayor is confident the revitalization work will attract new development downtown.
"Absolutely. And it will be decorative lighting and the tree wells and all that. So, it's going to entice people to come back. And that's where we need 'em," the mayor said.