D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Development just doesn't seem to be slowing down in D'Iberville. Though still preliminary, plans could be underway to build a casino resort in the city.
Tuesday, the city had to decide whether it would sign on to an important first step in the process. Following a closed session that lasted about 15 minutes, the D'Iberville City Council agreed to an arrangement that would allow developer Duane Lewis to take over property the city now owns.
"By the city granting them an option on city owned property which touches the water, it allows them to move forward to ultimately get their gaming license," City Manager Michael Janus said.
Mississippi law states that one must control the land that touches the water in order to apply for a gaming license.
"The developer has six months to do his due diligence to continue to move forward with the gaming commission," Janus said.
Currently, the developer has about six acres from Fountain Avenue to the Jackson County line. He's also looking to acquire some land north of Racetrack Road for the project.
Right now, D'Iberville has four casino developments on either side of I-10 which are either already permitted, or in the initial stages. City leaders say their long-range goal is to push more activity to other parts of town through these developments.
"We still want to rebuild our downtown, old town area where all the merchants started in this community, and that's where D'Iberville started," Mayor Rusty Quave said.
"The casino would be wonderful catalyst to spark interest and get people back downtown both for retail and social activities," Janus said.
City leaders say the hope is to create a partnership where all sides can work together to grow the city. The city is also offering Lewis another six months to finalize anything he might need to do in order to secure his gaming license.